Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Saints and Ghosts

This afternoon I went digging through the attic in hopes of finding a vintage viewmaster and reels I thought I had. This is not an easy thing to do. Access is through a small door inside of SF's closet. Flashlight in hand, I removed a few things so I could get in there.

It's a small space not much taller than me nestled in the southern eave of the house. There is no rhyme or reason to the things I've kept. It's like a mumbo jumbo mind trip into what I am. My handbag collection was placed there before SF arrived and I haven't looked back. I have so many amazing bags I could cry. I didn't though. I decided to haul one of the horking boxes of vintage jewelry I stashed away when I cleaned up for the newcomer. Two feather beds, a Hudson's Bay blanket and a very old camera collection make up the majority of the dura mater without dissecting too much.

I find old letters from my cousin Thom and his ficticious short story about desperate housewives long before they existed. There is an old postcard from a dead boyfriend while he was institutionalized. It is a Rembrandt style looking painting of a man leading an ass with a woman and a baby riding sidesaddle. His last words were "Be good".

Then I find an envelope addressed to me from Dino circa 2002 with a photocopied article from a 1999 issue of Men's Journal featuring Tom Wolfe writing about the lack of orginality in "today's" art and design. It's all about people recycling and regurgitating what they find in what he calls "The Big Closet". I reread each of these items and put them back for another time.

I found a photo of my friend Bill. We were both new students when we started our sophomore year. It was signed on the back: "Heidi, The love of my life-you've been one of the best friends I've ever had. Beyond. Love, Bill Frederick". I had to laugh.

My hands were totally grimey from touching old metal and dusty paper. Much of this stuff came from my grandmother's house. She was Catholic. I found this little medal. I stuck it in my pocket and went downstairs to goog it. What an eerie story and oddly fascinating.

I've decided to keep her in my pocket instead of putting her back in the attic. I think she'd like that. In fact, I think she'd say "Bless you, my child."