- Vol. 05
- Chapter 01
Mothballs and dust take me back to a time growing up in Missouri on a flea-market budget, when Sundays were spent rummaging through antique shops with my sister, my mother and her mother.
I meander through the jam-packed maze of depression glass, lace doilies and primitive potato mashers, before landing in the vintage book aisle.
I can hardly resist the smell of aging pages as I blow off a layer of dust, crack the crumbling spine. Sometimes I close my eyes, run my fingers along the typeface trenches, titles embossed in the leathery covers of classic collections of poetry.
Turning each page, with its coarse thickness, reminds me of construction paper greeting cards my kids made in kindergarten, the ones with tempera paint handprints and crayon squiggles.
Today, I found a hidden memento tucked snugly into a book’s crevice, marking a love poem by Emily Dickinson, this edition once belonging to a true romantic soul.
Her personal bookmark, a photo of a man, quite slender and somber, his drab brown suit matching his melancholy smile.
Glued on the back, a yellowing newspaper obituary, “Beloved Husband, survived by four children, five grandchildren, and his adoring wife of 49 years, Emma Jane.”
I can’t help but wonder if somewhere tonight, there’s an old woman, searching desperately through an old shoebox she kept under her bed, wanting this book, this poem, this memento to be the last thing she holds, before falling fast asleep.