Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I dreamt last night that I found it at a yard sale.
It sat there, nearly alone on a partially draped brown folding table.
It had rained the day before and I noticed the feet of the table burrowing into the soft earth. I imagined for a moment, as I ran my index finger along the edge of the table, the dark grass that was being crushed under its weight. Dust collected in a miniature slope between my fingertip and the table before I stopped to thoughtlessly brush it over the edge and to the ground.
I knelt to eye it more closely - the object - and saw that part of it was cracked a little. It didn't matter. Battered and bruised were still fine in my book. Some of my best-loved collections included the most battered and bruised that the world has to offer. Torn pages, chipped edges, missing buttons or eyes or pieces.
Over time, I've grown to find beauty in the broken.
Picking up the object, I became aware of it's lightness and fragility. It looked heavier than it was.
Very suddenly, I'd become afraid that it would simply crumble in my hands under the mere weight of my scrutiny.
It wouldn't be the first time I'd destroyed something. It sadly wouldn't be the last either.
I stared until I caught my reflection in the mirror of its surface and then I let time stop for a moment.
I felt the sun penetrating the skin on my shoulders, making my arms tingle just a bit.
I heard my pulse beating in my ears, the occasional swallow cutting in to interrupt the rhythm.
I smelled the history I was holding in my hands, littered with layers of dust and decorated with the splendors of time, love, and emotion.
Just then, I could taste my desire to bring it home with me - to know that it was back in my care.
It was only a moment, but it kind of felt like a forever.
My moment was broken by someone else's memory.
"That was my first one, you know! I can't even remember who gave it to me!"
I jumped slightly at her interruption and smiled crookedly as she laughed to herself. She was older than my mother, but younger than my grandmother. She wore a white tank-top, her arms shamelessly bare and boasting surplus.
"Well?!" She shouted, a bit too loudly, "You wanna buy it?!"
I raised my eyebrows in silent response and looked down to dig a dollar out of my wallet.
A dollar here, a dollar there - I spend dollars too quickly.
Her hand was ready and waiting, outstretched, as I made my exchange.
She was already busy with another weekend warrior when I turned to leave, my treasure tucked away and safe from harm.
I dreamt last night that I found it.
I dreamt I bought it back.
(If I could find it, I'd buy it back - perhaps for more than a dollar).
(But then, if I continue to live my life in parenthetics),
My life would be worth... well, about a dollar.