I was driving back from Raleigh on Sunday and having had time to allow my mind to rest (after two long walks in the wilderness areas around Cary with my wife) I saw a trailer sitting in a field and wondered what it would be like to write about it. I mean really take the time to consider it and all its many ramifications, moods and moments. What follows is a poem in progress.
Meditations on a trailer sitting in an open field. 2.13.2011
My first thought is that there is a car parked nearby so I assume the trailer is occupied.
Since there is another trailer within 50 feet I’d have to say it’s a small neighborhood.
Have you ever noticed that trailers are mostly always painted white—except for those silver Airstreams.
I can’t imagine that anyone would willingly choose to live in a trailer—this thought because I have always viewed trailers as transitory not permanent residences.
Trailers are not even called trailers anymore—they are now known as “mobile homes” even though most, if not all are mounted on some sort of foundation.
Since trailers are manufactured off site and are hauled to a plot of land by roadway, they are shaped like a hotdog—long and skinny.
A “double-wide” is just another name for two trailers that have been bolted together. Double-wides are a step or two below a pre-fab or manufactured house which sometimes look similar in size and shape.
My grandmother lived in a “mobile home” in what was then known as a trailer park. Her living room was on one end, the kitchen and dining room in the middle with the bedroom at the other end. In between was a bathroom on one side and a laundry room on the other separated by a small narrow hallway. I believe there was a back-side exit door in the bedroom.
I remember staying with her during the summer when I was young. This was during the white wonder-bread-years and the trailer would get so hot that the bread would almost melt in the cupboard. Of course the butter had to be kept in the fridge or else it melted on the plate.
I wonder if living in a trailer alters the way people think about space, movement and how they fit into the overall workings of the universe—no wide open prairie here.In other words, it is much like the saying that you are what you eat: perhaps we are defined by our architecture as well.
When my mom remarried in 1968, I was soon to be thirteen. We moved in with my new step-dad. His home was a trailer. It had two bedrooms, so a bit bigger than your grandma’s. We lived in the middle of a 40 acre plot which belonged to my new step-uncle(is there such a thing?). I lived there with them until I was 18 and off to college.
It definitely shaped my view of myself; and though I never connected it with choices I make today, I am comfortable with small spaces.
Who knows why the sun shines on empty?