Things in Jars

              Things In Jars   ​I never got married. I’ve been thinking about getting a pup, for some time now. But they seemed like a lot of responsibility. The vet, the food, they would need plenty of exercise. Which I didn’t mind, I liked walks as much as any dog out there, I could promise you that. But I wasn’t always around… No kids.

     ​My shanty house was jam packed with all sorts of experiments. You couldn’t go two feet without happening upon a jar filled with some sort of vegetation or what have you. In the cupboards, all along the counter, lining window sills. The fridge, forget about it, you’d be hard pressed to find something that hadn’t been jarred. My bedroom was where I kept all the red cabbage, red onion, watermelon radishes, or anything else that gave off a pretty vibrant tint. Most nights I didn’t light any candles or turn on any lights. I just let the moon reflect off of those colors.

     ​Some heard this and assumed me to be a recluse, not the case. I understood though, being in the jar world for as long as I had, I’d met recluse a plenty. But I was originally from a bigger city, and although considered myself somewhat of a homebody by bigger city standards, I liked quite a bit going out and about in this little artsy town and mingling with folks. And even though I’d only had those jars to speak of, I’d done fairly well with the women here. Most of them younger, some from bigger cities themselves, they liked my peculiar ways, they were typically earth people. And since I consumed mostly things from jars, I kept my shape and health. And since I wasn’t a recluse, I could still clean up a bit. So it didn’t look all that strange when a lovely young twenty something and myself were strolling about town arm in arm.

     ​I began putting things in jars a while a back, when I was still a twenty something myself, living in a bigger city. I read an article about sourdough bread. They explained the fermenting process, how if one were to just leave water and flour in a jar (or bowl) after some time, yeast in the air would start to eat away at it. And if one periodically replaced some of that mixture with fresh flour and water, after some more time, one would have a base for bread. And that this bread was actually quite good for one’s digestive system, unlike the store-bought varieties. I read this article just as I was getting over a nasty intestinal infection and was looking to make a drastic change in my diet. The next day I found an empty pickle jar and mixed in equal parts of flour and water.

     ​The very thought of a house filled with funky food things in jars might send a shiver down one’s spine, they might think there would be a putrid odor and clutter, bugs all about. Not to pat myself on the back, but I kept a fairly tidy home, all things considered. Yes, there were bugs, but not nearly as much as there could be, it wasn’t as though they were crawling all over the place. I’ve heard one was never out of arm’s reach of a spider, no matter where one might be, spiders were simply masters of hiding in creases and under furniture and such. So, all the jars did was bring out the insects into plain view more than your typical household. A small price to pay, plus jars could make for wonderful home décor when arranged by the proper pair of hands and eyes.

     ​One of the young women I spent time with studied at the nearby college for a time, in the arts. She never finished school but stayed in town, became an earth person. She possessed a real eye for beauty, before I met her, my jars were all over the place, scattered about. During one of her stays, she began to reorganize my jars, without asking. I was skeptical at first; after all, these were my jars. But I knew she was in the arts, and an earth person, so I gave her some leeway. By the day’s end I was astonished; it was as if I was living in a whole different space, all together. The lining of window sills and mantels, designs and placements that had I’d never considered, color and size arrangements that gave my entire house symmetry I didn’t believe to be possible. Even my fridge was organized and beautiful. It was her idea to replace candles and lightbulbs in my room with the most vibrant of the bunch. I would fill more jars and she would find new homes for them amongst the others.

    ​Why wouldn’t one put things in jars? The amount of food that was just thrown away struck me as completely ridiculous. If one didn’t think they were going to consume something in the near future or something was going to rot soon, salt it and put it in a jar, it was so easy. Salt it and submerge it, they’d be astonished as how much longer these things would last, and how delicious they would be! Sure, some things took more time and attention, one would have to carve out some time to make yogurt or kimchi… or mead or miso or beer or cured meats or cheeses or… I’m getting ahead of myself, those things would need more than jars. What I was trying to illustrate is that jars were amazing things to behold, they were alive, they were like family.

    ​Twenty something’s and earth people often times went back to bigger cities. I understood, making it in the arts wasn’t the easiest route. Things in jars get old.

     It was silly really, getting a pup wouldn’t interfere with my lifestyle that much. It wasn’t as if I couldn’t just bring the pup in the car with me, when I was to go on a trip somewhere. A lot of pups liked car rides. I’m sure a pup would have plenty of curiosity over the jars, I would have to mentally prepare myself for a jar or two shattering. That was a little worrisome, since I loved all my jars. Plus, the glass could hurt them. I would certainly have to do some research first, but I didn’t see why they couldn’t consume things from jars, that stuff was good for you… Well, just because it was good for me didn’t necessarily mean it would be good for a pup. The more I weighed the pros and cons, the more a pup seemed like a good deal of trouble. After all, there were only twenty-four hours in a day, and the jars kept me plenty busy.

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