Light the Corners of My Mind

I've spent a lot of time cruising up and down the streets of Randomville these last few days. Checking out houses, checking out neighborhoods, trying to see myself as a responsible, mature adult-type person with a mortgage and a lawnmower*.

Some of those streets are very familiar, since I have spent most of my life here. But others only have on associated memory, and that memory is ORANGES.

See, at my high school, the marching band's annual fundraiser was (and still is) selling oranges. To this day, I HAVE to have oranges in November; it's a compulsion.

Way back when we first moved here, I was of course astonished and slightly frightened by the band director's intensity when it came to orange sales. We HAD to sell oranges! We MUST sell oranges! GO SELL SOME ORANGES!!!!!!!!!!!!

I took him at his word, because I liked being in band and I didn't want to get kicked out because of mediocre numbers on my order forms. My mother drove me down every street in Randomville (it was much smaller then), and I fake-smiled and broadened my accent and gave Oscar-winning performaces at every door. I sold the heck out of those oranges.

When we turned in our order forms, I had a great heaping pile, and most of the other band members had one or two. ONE OR TWO. Clearly, nobody else was worried that low orange sales would result in expulsion from the band.

That changed my thinking a bit. I sold oranges for three more years, but not door-to-door; I relied on the old slacker method of having my mom sell to her coworkers.

That's why, when I was driving around those streets, I thought about selling oranges, because that is literally my ONLY experience with some of those roads; in nearly 20 years, I haven't set either foot or tire on those streets.

Soon I might live on one of those streets, and maybe I'll open my door to some little sad-eyed band kid who just wants to move some oranges.

*haha, just kidding. I have no intention of owning a lawnmower.

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