When my sister bought a house in Oakland, its sale came on the condition that she take everything in it. There were still clothes in the closet, food on the counter, dentures in the bathroom—everything just as it was when someone came to evacuate the 87 year old owner from the life he’d been living alone. She had to wear a mask. There were also messages throughout the house: a veritable ledger of oil changes scrawled on the garage door, the words “cold backward” written on the wall above a faucet, and 93 pieces of paper scattered in the shelves next to a black rotary phone. These notes were written on the back of manila envelopes, grocery bags torn into pages, a receipt, white envelopes opened at their seams and pressed flat. They read like transcripts or monologues. They remark variously on the quality of Australian wine and the cost of Chinese dinners, but mostly they chronicle the writer’s failing faculties, his fears about aging, and an intense loneliness.
This book, Noteworthy, represents a selection of the 93 notes. The original notes have been scanned and reproduced as photocopies on Bellbrook, Mohawk, and Hammermill papers, with hand-set stamping, red ink, and grocery bag covers. Open Edition.