I scared someone? Someone scared me? I tagged my grandmother… on the always moving circle of antiquarian duck, duck, goose? Or has she tagged me? I’m eight years old on her back stair landing… standing… befuddled before …THIS “show you”… old sewing stand. Or am I forty-eight years old and ‘just bought it’; the THIS SAME ‘show you’ old sewing stand… ‘cheap’?
Do I know this?
Do I care?
The crescendo of thunder claps in the …thunder storms… of the then forty years of rolling through thunder storms of … ‘growing up under the antiquarian tutelage of a grandmother …has “schooled me” in the very subtle trademark traditions of this whole… Maine… romance’ (Part One) … came and went (the storm ‘passed’) as a ‘without’ for me?
Yes; a ‘without’. I picked up the stand with one hand… after deploying two twenty dollar bills from MY OWN ‘rubber banded roll of money’… and carried it outside to the shade side of the truck… next to the dressing table. I set it down. I walked over to the open hatchback of the near car with its cardboard boxes purveyed. The two women had followed me out and …moved to the open hatch with the boxes …too. I was …now… fitting a small piece to another small piece of THIS current ‘house call’ (puzzle). Stupid and simple it was (the joining of the two puzzle pieces) ‘this stuff REALLY IS from my grandmother’s house’. That simple and …that stupid. The boxes enhanced the progression of this …stupidity.
“I REALLY DIDN’T THINK THAT YOU WOULD WANT THIS BUT I BROUGHT THESE.” the heir in charge sister said as I… slipped under the up raised hatch, into the hatch’s shade, looked down at the boxes, reached down and pulled open the loose cardboard flaps of one box to… show… old newspaper wrapped… ‘glass and china’…iota… filling that box that said to me ‘the other boxes are filled like this too’ AND SAID TO ME… using a standard antiques dealer buying skill of …casually noting the DATE on the newspaper wrapping the… ‘whatever’… to get a slight of hand clue as to a ‘how long’ the box contents had been ‘packed away’. I was rewarded with a third piece of the puzzle of stupidity being found and fitted.
The newspaper dated a… the summer of 1982; the year my grandmother died and season when her estate was… distributed, ‘cleaned out’ (by me) and her ‘house’ ‘sold’. That was a nice stupid piece to a nice stupid puzzle that I snapped into the other stupid pieces and… went forgetfully forward from this opportunity ‘no thinking back’. Most probably the newspaper’s date was …the exact day BEFORE… the ‘this stuff’ was wrapped in that newspaper, packed in the boxes, ‘put away’ and NEVER TOUCHED AGAIN.
This attention getting phenomena; the denoting of the DATE on the…old newspaper wrapping the old antiques in the old box …in the old house GUIDES one AWAY from dynamic ‘big picture’ thinking and TOWARD the trail of more… stupidity thinking. I ‘dated’ the paper and I ‘my grandmother’s house’ that date and I… plunged my greedy hand into the box and… pulled up, partially extracted, partially unwrapped, partially sort of peeked at… slightly sort of… that ‘it’ and… skipped right on to the next clump of old newspaper to repeat and do the same move on to… pull the box flaps, pull the newspaper clumps ‘next box’ and …third box?
Not quite for I heard the woman’s voice saying “HER CHINA CABINET” as I identified a ‘glass and (or) china’ ‘from long ago’ IOTA as from “HER CHINA CABINET” …TOO and so… this being a ‘such’ started the falling down of long ago stood up dominos that …went through my mind at high speed as “china cabinet; grandmother’s; shelves; four; glass and china; boxes; four; shelves packed in boxes; by heir; each shelf packed in boxes; newspaper from then dated; never touched again; grandmother’s; china cabinet; her; good things? No. Yes. That I; remember; do I; yes; I do; my hand; in the third box; shelf; down; in back; yes; old newspaper clump; “THERE IT IS; that; the bowl; old bowl; yes; ‘show you’; THAT bowl; now HERE; THIS BOWL; in hand; my hand; is; the; Compass Parker’s BOWL. (Part Six and Part Twelve-A)
It was… with the old 1982 newspaper falling away as I, with it in left hand swung it out and away from the box, boxes and hatchback shelter to become MY OWN in cavalier back swing AWAY from ANY ‘all’ to do with the ‘this’ (the current house call including ALL its complexities and nuances …spanning twenty years. Yes; like those before me who came before me too to ‘show you’ I …without special needs… TOO… did NOT let go of the old bowl and did NOT set it back or down and DID NOT fail to EVER ALWAYS ‘kept’ my little slot of peripheral vision protectively ON IT while I:
Pretended to sensitively poke the FOURTH BOX and clumped newspaper wrapped of the “her bric-brac”:
“FROM HER CHINA CABINET I HAVE THAT TOO”.
“This is all from that.”
“Maybe another box but I didn’t SEE one”.
“I remember. It. Ah. Three forty-five.”
“Three forty-five this afternoon?”
“Three HUNDRED forty-five DOLLARS. … For the BOXES” I said actually accidentally waving the left hand held ‘Compass’ bowl’ between the three of us as I mentally “ZOMBIE LAND OR WHAT” my offer and the trail that it went off on. I got the bowl back behind me (sort of ) as the SHE says:
“OH” followed by the sister making a word sound of some sort of “Oh”. Too.
Pause of maybe two seconds that actually felt like TWO long eternal plunges into HELL including high decibel internalized screaming.
“OK. FINE. DO YOU WANT THE CABINET?”
“It’s a junker”.
“It is? … Oh… Oh: I’m never going to use it. OK”.
“I’ll get the money” I said. I turned, walked to the truck’s driver’s door. I opened the door, set Compass Parker’s bowl upside down on the seat and quickly ‘snaked’ the cash wallet out of the …soft canvas… briefcase on the center of the seat.
Then I continued, uneventfully, to view, rummage, find and purchase ‘more’ ‘there’ for about an hour AND agreed, while loading the truck to
“LOOK AT SOME MORE WHEN YOU PICK UP THE CHINA CABINET.”
“Tomorrow morning, right?”