In My Ohio

On Sharing The Tangerine

Darren C. Demaree
Summer can be overwhelming. There can be too much heat, too much daytime, and too many reasons to become ecstatic, without much relief. Even at night the moon appears to be closer, perhaps swollen with whatever ornery escapades the moon can get up to while the sun is busy being dominant in our lives.
So, with our time now thick, flush to each other’s activities and the etcetera that accompanies our activities, it can feel like the world is becoming cluttered when we most want to be moving freely around Ohio.
We start to remove things so that we feel as we did as children, when we owned practically nothing, and still carried ourselves as princes and princesses. When I was young enough that it didn’t matter what I wore, I was a naked prince ruling my small kingdom on the smallest edge of Mount Vernon. I moved without reason. I was naked without reason. I had nothing, but my own body. I was whole like that.
Now, I move slowly during the summer, because everything I do comes with things. When I go to the zoo, I need a stroller for the children, sunscreen, snacks, water, and toys in case the lions aren’t enough stimuli. The same for the pool. The same for the park. Even at home it takes a dozen things to get through the day. We want things in case it turns out we are not enough for each other.
I think if I gave you some of my things I would be much happier. This is why there are ninety-five garage sales set up all over Columbus every weekend. We need more room to swing our elbows. We are old enough now that we need a running start if we are going to win any races against this season. We need to give up some of this weight, or we will hurt our knee again.
I want you to raise the kind of hell you used to. I want you to give up some of your superfluous things, because they are dragging you down right now. Find a neighbor, or a shelter, or a food bank, or anyone that knows people that are in actual need. They will help you find exactly what it is you need, and what is extra for you will fill in some of the glaring cracks in Ohio.
It’s as simple as this. I love tangerines. I like to take them to the park, and eat them in the grass while my children run rampant (their pockets turned out because they have no need for them to be anything other than imaginary puppy ears in the wind). I always bring too many tangerines. If you find me, without sleeves, resting with the palms of my hands behind me, you’re more than welcome to grab a piece of fruit from the bag. I might not have brought them for you specifically, but I was lucky enough to have them to bring.
I know it’s not actually that simple. I like my things, and the money that can bring me more things. However, it doesn’t have to be complicated for the whole of the year. Once a year, it could beautifully clear. I have too much, and if I don’t give up some of it, then I will be forced to carry that waste with me.