Over my shoulder atop a wall of bookcases, three figures: a “creature” designed by an artist-friend, one of his “Plush Denizens”; a stuffed E.T. doll with light-up finger; and a can of Kraft Calumet, like the ones stacked in the background of a famous scene from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, discussed and analyzed at length in the movie Room 237. Each figure is also an object; each possesses “its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be,” the history determining this presence trailing behind it like the tail of a comet. I think of each also as a kind of fun-loving elf on a shelf. In the study of my next home, I want more plants.