Last weekend, on yet another road trip across the lovely state of Nevada, we saw one of the more interesting sites I’ve seen in the desert. It was a fence (maybe), but not just any fence, a fence made out of old single wide trailers and dying RV’s, literal trailer trash. There is a story behind this fence, though I’m not sure what it is.
If fences are built to either keep unwanted people or animals out, or if they’re built to keep wanted animals or people in, what, exactly, is the purpose of this one?
Or is it not a fence at all? Did somebody just decide to line up their old trailers to keep their trailer trash orderly? It’s not really surrounding anything, functioning as a fence might, so is it even a fence? I’m not sure.
When we first saw it, my husband and I started laughing and I asked him stop to photograph it. He kept saying, “What? Stop? Why?” By the time he understood that I wasn’t kidding, we were too far past it to photograph, so we had to stop on our way home.
I’ve been thinking about this fence all week. Generally a fence is built serve some sort of purpose. If you’d like to read a funny tale about gates and fences, check out the short fable titled “The Vigilant Rabbit” in David Sedaris’ compilation of modern tales, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary. The entire book is funny and entertaining, but in this particular tale, the gate represents power and the gate keeper’s ability to control the movements of the other forest animals. The problem occurs when the power hungry rabbit forgets to build the fence around the gate, and the gate does nothing to keep out the riff-raff. This trailer fence reminded me of the gate in the David Sedaris story, a valiant attempt to serve some sort of purpose but one that doesn’t make it, by a long shot.
Visually, this fence is fascinating too as it sort of meanders across the mountain’s base. Perhaps its actually a giant sculpture. I’ve been considering what this would look like in a quilt. But I’d have to figure out the story behind the fence for that quilt. I wonder how could I tell it through fabric?
One happy, or possibly annoying, result of writing or any creative endeavor for that matter is continually thinking about stories and possibilities. What is the story here? Any ideas?