The Dementia in Lazy Life
On February 20, 1989, David R. Birstle coined the phrase, “lint within the doom.” Ken Smitt fired off a series of questions on the event. His class at K.S.U. took rabid notes. Mr. Smitt was first interested in the meaning of the word, “lint.” He said, “I believe it is a four letter word meaning the bits of fuzz from clothing. However, there could be deeper meaning here.” Smitt went on to say that the word and the phrase might be an explanation of the troubled life of Mr. Birstle. It seems he was once a hat maker in Danbury, Connecticut in the forties. In the trade it is a sin to allow any lint on the product. Many hatters were fired on the spot if inspectors found the substance on the finished product. Mr. Smitt thought that this little fact had strong implications within the phrase,
“It seems to me that the word means more than tiny pieces of cloth. It means the very dust left on every finished product in our world. That dust implies that nothing is perfect. Every bit of civilization has imperfections that will eventually lead to the demise of that society.”
Georgie Angir raised his hand like all students do. When asked what he wanted he said, “Aren’t we making more of this than is intended? ‘Lint in the doom’ only means that any philosophy whether negative or positive has its dust, and that dust represents the author’s stupidity.”
“Yes, of course, there is a certainty there.” Mr. Smitt continued, “Lint and doom are synonyms. Both are very fuzzy words. Both mean that not all events are catastrophic. Some, in fact, most, are casual and quiet. Yes, many of the day to day happenings are not even noticeable. Yet, they have an impact on our world.”
Ken Smitt then told the class to take a break and get a little water, that there was much more in depth topics on this phrase to discuss. Angir smiled, got up, and asked the girl next to him if she knew what was going on. Cynthia R. Gladstone said, “Yes.” She did not say another word, went to the lavatory, had a sip of water from the fountain, and walked back to the classroom, retrieved her books and notepad and left. She owned a late model Datsun, and wanted to get some gas for it before she went home to her two kids (age eight and 14) who lived in an apt. over on E.18th in Cleveland. Gladstone also remembered she had not vacuumed the apt.’s rugs in weeks.
Angir had his hand raised again when the class began, “I have one further thought. Isn’t life nothing but lint and doom?” No one had any input that evening. Smitt only said, “Thank you.”
R.L. Ashley died that evening while walking to her car. She owned an old Continental. Later, it was found that Ms. Ashley was afraid of deep philosophy. She feared psychological meanings in any phase of life. Also, it was found that an adolescent named J.E.T. Jones also hated deep thoughts. After confronting Ms. Ashley the fourteen year old had shot the young woman because her purse was very dirty. Even the money in it was stained.
Daniel Gallik has had poetry and short stories published by Hawaii Review, Parabola, Nimrod, Limestone (Univ. of Kentucky), The Hiram Poetry Review, Aura (Unv of Alabama), and Whiskey Island (Cleveland State Univ). He has place writings in hundreds of online journals. His first novel, A Story of Dumb Fate is available at publishamerica.com.