Thursday, May 07, 2009


When I still lived in America, it was my job to ensure that the square footage of wall-to-wall carpeting accounted for a minimum of 18% of all geographic surface area, not including Alaska and Hawaii. I went all around the country in my donkey cart measuring this. I liked to start in hotels, virtual layer cakes of carpeting. As I gained experience, it got so I could calculate everything in my head, without using my ruler. I just multiplied the number of floors and subtracted the bathrooms. Throw rugs and orientals, popular in the nicer hotel lobbies, didn’t count. This was a job to be done barefoot, to connect with all textures – the high or low pile, woolens and shags. In homes and convention centers, churches and offices, I went around on all fours with my ruler and my recoiling fiberglass measuring tape. I saw carpeting the color of corn and of ruby and every shade of beige. I saw shoes, and sandals holding painted toenails. Sometimes I pocketed a sprung button or key. I found the pits of fruit under couches and spied mucho chewing gum under movie theater seats. I saw coffee stains, red wine and juice splashes and puke and dried peas and I was enriched by the presidents’ faces I saw embossed on a million lost coins and I know wall-to-wall carpeting isn’t the only thing that makes America great.


Anonymous said...

That was incredible. I loved that little trip.

BTW, I got my chapbook the other day. (my first ever)

SarahJane said...

There was something the other day I saw about carpeting made from recycled plastic but what I want to know is how about carpeting made from recycled carpeting.
Hope you enjoy the chapbook. So nice of you to give it a shot.

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