Christopher Swiedler

the charactery

If there is a junkyard in hell, this is apparently the bench you sit on while you wait for service

I live in Pacifica, near a pleasant little beach-side trail next to Mori Point. There are a number of benches along the trail, mostly established as memorials for Pacificans who have passed on to the Great Surf Spot in the Sky. Judging by the dates inscribed on the benches, the length of the trail, and the number of benches,  in a few years they’ll be clustered so densely you’ll be able to hop from Highway One to the beach without touching the ground.

There’s one bench in particular that always confuses the hell out of me. It’s inscribed  If there is a junkyard in hell, love is the dog that guards it.

What, in the blessed blue blazes, does this quote mean?

Is it a memorial to the owner’s late dog “Love”, who is now apparently believed to be guarding a scrap-heap in the netherworld?

Is it a comment on love itself?–perhaps engraved by a jilted partner who wanted to suggest that hell hath no fury like a guard dog chained to a junkyard?

Was it put there just to confound passers-by looking for meaning, truth, and beauty in the panoply of seating that lines the trail?

I have no earthy idea. But if I ever find myself in front of Satan’s flaming gates, my first question is going to be is there, by chance, a junkyard here?

filed under language-is-a-mind-virus

3 Comments

  1. It’s a Bukowski quote (almost) it should say love is the dog that guards the gate.

    • Christopher

      April 21, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t think to google it. I’d never heard it, and it just struck me as such a random thing to say. Er, paint onto a bench, rather.

  2. == Cerberus == Cerberus, was the three headed dog in Greek mythology that guarded the gates of Hades (the underworld: Hell).

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