Materials

by jkatejohnston

Yesterday I cleaned the refrigerator. I’d lined the bottom area formerly occupied by a produce drawer with bubble wrap to cushion fruits and vegetables and keep them from bruising. Then something spilled or maybe it was just condensation. At any rate, the bubble wrap got wet and turned into a gel, a sort of miracle adhesive on the bottom of the fridge. I scrubbed and scraped and scrubbed and scraped. The gel had bits of cat hair in it and other particles. It reminded me of the Department at UCSB called Materials which I thought for a long time was for storing and distributing paper, pens, mouse pads etc. Then I learned it’s where Nobel laureates make new things under the sun. Like Plasma. If I could somehow duplicate the refrigerator bubble wrap adhesive gel, I might win a Nobel prize myself. It’s impressive stuff. Most of it’s still there, and the produce is in a giant Tupperware, which is probably stuck to the gel and therefore a permanent fixture in the fridge.

I read in Vogue years ago that Julia Roberts enjoys cleaning. Maybe she should come over.

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Teresa did the taxes yesterday and I didn’t. She cursed and clacked away on the adding machine. After she was done, the mail came, including an envelope from the bank labeled “Important Tax Document” reporting some miniscule amount of interest earned. She cursed some more, then re-opened Turbo Tax and added the interest to our income. Done. She can’t file it until February just in case some other mysterious tax documents arrive, for example from Amazon in the unlikely event that I sold some books.

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