I Ain’t Got Nothing (Nothin’s Got Me)
I bought this record in a thrift store in Texas. The thrift store, at the time, claimed to have the world’s largest collection of second hand records. I didn’t doubt it. The stacks seemed to go on and on, a great cast-off mountain of vinyl, nothing categorised or alphabetical. The smell was intoxicating. I spent a week rooting around, collecting a pile of treasures. A year later, in the middle of a hot summer, the building burned. A friend sent a picture; two standing walls and nothing else. Just a carpet of ash. On the back of the photo he wrote: Can you believe this?
As Dutch Robinson says: I ain’t got nothing, nothin’s got me.
Now, ten years later, it all comes back.
Our barn has burned. I try not to look at it and yet I’m drawn to it. It won’t go away. It sits fifty feet from our house, all charred bits and ashes. In my mind it’s still as it was, a two story building full of records, books, artwork and collected stuff. Three weeks ago something, faulty wiring or a mouse chewed wire, set sparks flying. In a few hours everything had gone up in smoke.
THINGS I’VE FOUND IN THE RUBBLE OF OUR BURNT DOWN BARN
The ceramic head of a duck, given to me on my ninth birthday by Amy Hinkle.
Pages of the book What’s This Cats Story by Seymour Krim.
A fused together lump of vinyl on which the label was still readable: As The Rain By Jeb Loy Nichols.
The metal speaker cones from three different amps.
Four pair of scissors.
Page of the book A Choice Of Enemies by George V. Higgins.
The motor from an air compressor.
Two metal cups, souvenirs from the Missouri state fair, 1972.
Corner of a record sleeve, possibly Truth And Rights by Johnny Osborne.
One axe head, one hammer head.
Cover of the book I Should Have Stayed Home by Horace McCoy.
Top of a cake tin that had contained postcards.
Melted plastic picture frame.
The remains of several wood cutting tools.
A charred and chipped vase, in the shape of a smiling celery stalk, given to me by Muriel Morley.