Scene4-International Magazine of Arts and Culture
Interview with a Farm Refrigerator | David Wiley | Scene4 Magazine | | July 2018

Interview With A Farm Refrigerator

David Wiley

“Hello! Are you keeping cool?”

“I’m cold enough most of the time.”

“I suppose you get a fairly heavy workout.”

“My life is no picnic.”

“Ha! At least you’ve preserved your sense of humor.”

“Without a sense of humor I would have quit a long time ago.”

“Are you saying that your life is more difficult than most?”

“Certainly. I’m constantly being opened and subjected to all sorts of weird stuff.”

“At least you don’t have meat to contend with.”

“It’s true. I’m fortunate to have vegetarian bosses. Most of my troubles have to do with lack of organization.”

“I imagine that’s a common complaint among you reefers.”

“No doubt. I’m sure life is hard for most of my kind. But I doubt if many of them have to deal with the pressures and weights I do, not to mention the variety. I’m built to take a lot of punishment, but there are certain things my makers didn’t foresee. Or perhaps there was nothing they could do about it anyway.”

“What sort of things are you talking about?”

“Well, for example, if I have things in precarious positions, resting on top of other things, they may be motionless when my door is closed, But later, maybe in the middle of the night, things will melt a little, or become mashed a little, and then weights will shift a little, and before you know it, a watermelon or a gallon of milk or a pot of pasta will roll over against my inner door, and fall out when my door is opened in the morning.”

“Does this distress you?”

“Sure. It makes me feel a little inadequate. Of course it’s not my fault that the bosses stuff me to the gills, or that my makers failed to install a sensor and warning device on the inside of my door.”

“Are there such things?”

“I have no idea.”

“You mentioned variety. How does that trouble you?”

“Well, naturally we are made to handle all kinds of food. And it’s not supposed to matter to us what kind… and it doesn’t, really. But I can’t help wondering sometimes about all the things I’m keeping cold.”

“Do you think it makes a difference that you’re a farm reefer?”

“Yes, I do believe so. My door is opened and closed a lot. Being on the farm creates more activity for me. And since they have gardens, there never seems to be a lack of things to put on my shelves.”

“Do you know when something begins to spoil?”

“I don’t have a nose, but I do sense a change in the atmosphere when something begins to decay. It doesn’t happen much, but when it does, the bosses can still give it to the chickens, who don’t seem to mind food past its prime, That way nothing is wasted.”

“It doesn’t sound like you are complaining much about your life here.”

“I’m not, really. There is much to be said for a life of chaos and surprise. It makes me feel alive. I could tell you some hair-raising stories.”

“Please do.”

“Well, one time somebody completely stuffed me with watermelons. During the night my racks bowed under the weight, causing a breakdown in equilibrium. And in the morning when one of the bosses opened my door, eight watermelons tumbled out of me onto the floor. That was high drama, I can tell you.”

“This may seem like a silly question, but do you ever get lonely?”

“Do you mean for my own kind?”

“For your own kind, and just in general.”

“As for my own kind, I don’t know any of them, so I don’t much miss them. Anyway, I have enough trouble getting to know myself. If I want company, I have an array of foods here to dally with.”

“What kind of… uh….. relationship do you have with the foods you are hosting?”

“It’s hard to develop relationships. Just as you’re getting to know a hunk of cheese, for example, its gone. I did once have a friendship with a head of cabbage that lasted quite a long time. He was pretty much a dud, though, the last month or so of his stay. He had become withered, and his luster was gone. But he was a fine friend the first three months.”

“What are some of the strangest things you’ve played host to?”

“Once in a while they make me keep something called Kombucha, that makes everybody on my shelves moan and shiver a little. Things that are partially fermented always make a stir around here. I get other peculiar guests. They come and go.”

“Sounds like you have a kind of universe of your own in there.”

“I think of it as a cosmos.”

“What happens when the bosses go away for a week and leave you and your guests unattended? Do you ever panic?”

“The bosses don’t go away that long without leaving someone to check on us. But I can remember one time a few years ago when I wasn’t opened for two weeks. I could feel an undercurrent of panic starting up. It doesn’t really matter to me… I’m just a machine. I do, however, feel a bit responsible for my guests. So when they begin to panic, I begin to panic. Empathetic sensations, I think it’s called.”

“So you’re always glad to see the light go on?”

“Very glad. The bosses cant hear it, but a kind of cheer goes up when the bosses open my door and the light goes on. It means life it happening and changes are about. Either a guest is about to leave, or a new guest is about to enter. Often there are multiple departures and arrivals.”

“You always have that to anticipate.”

“We live for those moments.”

“Your lifestyle piques my curiosity. Do you mind if I open your door?”

“Be my guest.”

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley

David Wiley, painter-poet, exhibits throughout
California and abroad. A book about his work,
The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
His painting and poetry appears monthly in Scene4 (q.v.)
For more of his paintings, poetry and articles, check the
To inquire about David Wiley's paintings, Click Here.

©2018 David Wiley
©2018 Publication Scene4 Magazine




July 2018

Volume 19 Issue 2

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