My Glove Compartment, Circa 1997

I made this list in January 1997, when I cleaned out the glove compartment of my 1984 Toyota Tercel, and shortly after I started reading Georges Perec and other Oulipo writers. The reason to empty it was that it was so packed I could no longer open it. It turned out the back hinge was  jammed shut by a Velvet Underground cassette tape case. Perec was a veritable king of lists. He once listed everything he ate and drank over an entire year, and his alcohol consumption alone was astonishing. So this one’s for him.

Here’s the list:

2 Phillips Head screwdrivers

1 Red Luxury lip gloss, very old, probably Maria’s

1 Very battered pocket copy of Tao Te Ching

4 Batteries

1 Immature mammal limb, probably sheep femur

1 Mechanized pencil

1 Green pen from the Courtyard by Marriott Hotels

1 Ticket to Lava Beds National Monument for June 6th (year unknown)

1 Basin Research Associates business card

1 Melted plastic case for fuses

1 PCV valve (in box)

1 Plastic box of electrical connectors

1 Lid to Chinese tea cup

1 Brown band for sunglasses

1 Poloroid of myself with John Sloane excavating a human burial

1 Old medicine bottle

1 1” paint brush

1 Yellow pencil

1 Still from the movie Bhaji on the Beach

1 Letter from Chris in Russia (February 1991)

1 Card for Heath Paterson, Loan Agent

1 Packet of AAA info

1 Biorhythm chart for May 4, 1991, indicating:

  • good luck
  • high romance
  • low creativity
  • high health
  • high sex
  • good ambition
  • high endurance
  • low finance
  • good friendship
  • high leisure plans
  • lucky nos: 5 & 52

1 Sunglasses case

1 American Youth Hostel Handbook for 1990-91

1 Saguaro Credit Union checkbook

1 Pink napkin

1 Package of Johnson & Johnson rolled gauze (price $2.69)

8 Cassette tapes

1 Wind-up jumping frog (Stephanie’s)

1 B&W photo of my back from the 1984 Duckpond concert

Various receipts and scraps of paper

9 cents in change

Looking back at this list today, I wish I had written down who the bands were on those tapes. But I am sure somewhere, somehow, that knowledge is known. Because nothing is ever truly lost.


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