Health · Lifestyle

Molly Fisk: How to Avoid a Boring Life

It is truth universally acknowledged in our part of the county that the absolutely best view is to be found while waiting in line at the dump. Three or four cars back, you can see miles of the Sierra Nevada stretching south toward Yosemite. This is where you realize it’s already snowed up there, or it hasn’t. This is where you think of taking photos but then have to pull forward so they can assess how much you’re getting rid of and therefore how much to charge you. Which, in my case yesterday, was nothing, because the broken patio umbrella and 33-year-old ironing board could be classified as metal and taken to a secret location where leaving them off was free.

I am never sorry when things turn out to be free, even though I was armed with small bills. And I’m always happy to be directed to secret locations, since much of the time I try to live my life as if I were a Russian spy only masquerading as a middle-aged American poet.

You should try this. Whenever you feel life has gotten unbearable boring, just imagine you aren’t really yourself, but a notorious Russian spy pretending to work in the IT Department of AJA Video or as the produce manager of Safeway and your day will get immediately more interesting. How, for instance, and when are you communicating with your handlers in the mother country? Is it by two-way wrist radio like Dick Tracy in the 1950s or with your cell phone? What kind of information are you supposed to gather? Maybe it’s not enough to memorize everyone’s order as you pull shots at Starbucks, and you have to time the Thursday meetings of X and Y and note which table they sit at so you can set up your secret camera. Maybe if someone orders a Chai frappucino macciato al dente with no foam that’s the signal for you to say “Venti or grande? Twenty-two minutes on table 5, thank you for your order, that’ll be $9.50 at the window!” I mean there could be a vast network of former USSR spooks who never came in from the cold! It’s very exciting, and can vastly improve a day at work if you do it right.

I picked that ironing board up off the streets of Cambridge, Mass. on trash night in 1982, by the way, and it gave me very good service until recently when it stopped opening. The metal whatsis underneath just wouldn’t budge. Since I iron about every three years, I figured I shouldn’t keep it around to clutter up the house.

This is why I was waiting in line at the dump looking at that amazing view, and why I think it’s inevitable the dump will some day close and be made into condominiums. It had nothing to do with telling the metal collection department in their secret location that Ilya Kuryakin is landing at our municipal airport this afternoon in a Cessna 172 with green stripes. Which you did not hear from me, I’m just an ordinary poet and life coach.

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  • Joyce Wycoff September 4, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Molly … what fun. My alt-ego is Carlotta, an over-sexed Flamenco dancer who fancies herself a musician with her castanets that unfortunately never quite hit the right beat. But, who cares, the snare drummer is really cute. She has been on a European Grand Tour and my life is entirely too pale. She needs to come home and brighten my day.

    Thanks for reminding me … just sent the telegraph: Come home. Stop. Color leaking from all corners. Stop. Bring fun. Stop. j

    Reply
  • Molly Fisk September 3, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Mickey, you are a spy for Greenpeace, making sure that your neighbors don’t use any toxic chemicals and also aren’t harboring (ahem) blue whales in their yard, or catching dolphins in their tuna nets. If you live in a land-locked town this is going to be even more crucial, so stay alert! You may need to wear sunglasses out in the patio, so they don’t suspect you. File your reports while in the shower: Greenpeace has special receptors whenever you’re near any kind of water. Thank you for your service to the planet. And, shhhhh… xox

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  • Mickey September 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Thank you so much, Molly! An alternative reality to our humdrum boring clean out the fridge Thursday to get ready for Friday’s trash pick up and so on. Oh, the alternative reality of clearing my patio so my home insurance doesn’t get cancelled: I’m a spy for the Department of Homeland Security watching my neighbors for signs that they came from over there over the wall that hasn’t been built, won’t be built, no, that’s not it. Great idea, though. A spy for? It’ll make clearing the patio so much more exciting and worthwhile. or not. Thank you again, Molly. I love you! I am using Redmond Salt. I ordered sample packets of their toothpaste. I even thought of traveling (augh!) to Utah just to eat at the restaurant (even mentioned it to my son for whom it would be a birthday present). That is really, really a fantasy that will (probably) never happen. Sigh. Hugs.

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  • Molly Fisk September 3, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Wendl, Russia is a huge country and they need many of us out here reporting back! Or you could chose anywhere you like. Mali, Macedonia, Madagascar, they’re always looking for surreptitious help. I’m so glad you’ve got the idea, and retired people make *very* good spies. People stop noticing us, and expect us to ask for help, never realizing that when we show them our cell phone to find out what corner is displayed on our GPS, we are actually recording their voices, irises, and fingerprints. It’s very fun. 😉

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  • WENDL in Manhattan September 3, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Wonderful! Now I have an new way to cope. The persona I used while doing brain-numbing office work in toxic environments was to become a fabulous, award-winning actress, merely acting the part. My personality and soul were still my own, re-claimed in the elevator each evening on my way home. Now that I’m retired, I shall be a spy…but for whom? Russia appears to have been taken.

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