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#277 :: Coin-silver Cross – Africa

November 12, 2004

My sick affinity for pop culture trivia takes up a frightening amount of already very-limited brain power. The fact that Eddie Deezen plays the geeky kid with a deer rifle holed up at the top of a ferris wheel on guard duty against Japanese invasion in 1941 has completely crowded out more useful information like – the kids have dentist’s appointment this week, or I’d better fill up the gas tank now. I could be writing the great American novel, or teaching my daughter Spanish, but instead I can sing Exene’s entire harmony line from “The World’s a Mess It’s In My Kiss.” And the space for trivia is shrinking, taken up by questions about trivia that I used to possess. What were the Oscar nominees last spring, anyhow? Damn it. So much useless beauty. I once read a card in the little glass case where this cross was displayed with others when I bought it more than 10 years ago. The card was hand-lettered by the two young hippies who ran the bead-import store where the casse sat. Their business and marriage began probably with a first flush of love, and blossomed into a shared love of travel, of wild, free explorations of Istanbul and Kathmandu and the inspired spark to start a business importing cheap exotica at high markups for bored stateside yuppies. But last time we were in the store, they seemed to be going through the motions of a relationship, and running a business – he sulking in the back over cold tofu after a few sharp words with her – from which she emerged grimly to return to the sales floor and handhold some flighty rich girl at the counter who just couldn’t decide which three $5 handmade Afghani silver beads to buy to go with the little string of lapis … Trivia. Factoids. Bits of information – pretty things, but with no purpose and little role beyond amusement and diversion. This cross was hand-hammered of coin silver somewhere – I think – in Africa. I’ll be damned if I can remember for sure – or where. I’m too busy thinking warplane silhouettes from the WWII Commemorative Spotter Cards I got last year on a trip to the Smithsonian.

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