Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Coy - Part Sixteen - "Touch My Lips" - (A)


Part Sixteen

"Touches My Lips"


            Not that anyone cares if... ‘you did something’.  The little planet of old New England estates is, when right side up, round.  In appearance.  I know ...that this appearance is a coy façade of fabricated myth.  I know that old New England estates are actually... ‘pitched’, ‘up side down’, ‘not known of’ and ‘forgotten about’.  I know that old New England estates... as a planet... I live on... are... flat:  I know I CAN fall off an edge.  At any time.  For any reason.
            When I fall... should I fall... off an edge... I do not bother to ...even... brush myself off when I stand back up.  That’s because... ‘not that anyone cares’... ‘if you did something’.
            Who cares?
            Nobody cares.
            On the round planet of New England right side up... the coffee tables still hold the faux “Hitchcock” stenciled ‘serving tray’ with “We have coffee if you’d like some” in it’s “PLATE” (silver plated) ‘service’; “I don’t know WHERE WE got that” (your wedding?).  The coffee table still holds... the cheap 20th century (1950’s ‘after the war’) pressed glass serving dishes offering the “I made them this morning”, paper napkins ‘pulled’ from a ...commercially wrapped ‘supermarket’ vended package and... ‘matching flatware’ (“plate” and/or “stainless”, no initials) but:  WITH the... occasional

            I guess... I just... did something... again.  At ‘your’ house.
            Sorry... but... ah...: “This one’s sterling; SILVER”.
            “Oh... THAT one.  Yes.  It is silver.  Isn’t it.  The sterling.”
            I put the fork down on my paper napkin.  I pick up the offered full ...mug... of coffee.  I set that on the paper napkin.  Too.  I reach to the service on the tray and retrieve the... “CREAM if you want some.”
            “Thank you.” I said as my eye caught the halo of oxidation toward the pour spout edge; the distinctive (distinguished?) oxidation halo that has the warm yellow tint of oxidation between the black of ‘not polished’ and... the... ‘plate’ (silver plate; not solid silver... not ‘the sterling’).  My ...eye... pouring... ‘it’ (the cream) from that... while I am all there with the I... doing that this there... lost on my moon walk of solid silver in old New England homes I... find myself setting ‘it’ (the creamer) back and... selecting ‘that one’ of the spoons... loosely scattered...
            In a calliope of circular ‘pitched’ ‘Pick-Up-Sticks’ CONFUSION ‘about’ the tray.  This moon beam spoon confusion shines in MY EYES because I had just SOLD A DAMN SPOONER (19th century EAPG –early American pressed glass- Horn of Plenty pattern ...flint glass... ground pontil... perfect... condition spoon holder; the vessel that held the spoons ...on the serving tray... in the 19th century ...old New England homes...) so “CANNOT YOU EVEN”... silent screamed as my ‘that one’ comes to me and is ‘I plunge it’ deep, DEEP down to the bottom of my... mug of coffee as... she watches EVERY GOD DAMN MICRO MOVE of I... being again... ‘watched’ ...that leads to... ‘you did something’.  “That one’s sterling too.” I  say as I glance up to direct... eye contact... while setting the spoon on the paper napkin next to the fork and... the wet creamed coffee on that spoon soaks into the paper napkin... on the surface of the... coffee table.

            What am I going to do with the fork ‘with coffee’?  SPEAR a COOKIE?
            I WANT TO PUT IT IN MY POCKET AND TAKE IT WITH ME.  I found it there... ‘scattered’... on the IN THERE of this... is one TOO?  Old New England HOME.  MY, my I found MY silver fork in your ‘THE SILVERWARE’ flatware ‘service’ and YOU watched ME that ...with just my eye ‘select’ the...
            YOU DON’T.
            SO I AM GOING TO TAKE THAT ONE HOME with me and SAVE IT
            FROM YOUR HELL.
            “Your always so interesting to watch because you know so much.”  The other invited guest have just been standing there in the middle of this... the epic poems of “The Odyssey and the Iliad”.  I re-sheath my sword.  I set my shield down. I... should apologize for fleeting a moment with YOUR SILVER?  “It is ALWAYS right to NOTICE good silver”.  She says.
            “I notice that when it touches my lips.”
            “The... silver... touches your lips?”
            I pick up the fork and touch it to my lips.
            “Oh.  That way.  I see.”
            “Since I do it all the time... I know; I notice.”
            “Oh.  Yes.  The SILVER... WARE I use... well... but... the POLISHING”.
            “If you use it... it stays shiny with just usage oxidation.  You know:  Put it in the dishwasher.”
            “Right.  Keeps it pretty clean too.”
            “That...  well.
            “Use it.
            “If you have it.  No point in keeping it in a box for special occasions.  Entertaining.”
            “For entertaining.”
            “No.  I find it entertaining... how people use their silver services.”
            “Oh... that too.

            When I was sixteen years old and first could drive... myself... where I wanted to go... I discovered... in a smaller village, an older couple who ‘sold’ ‘antiques’ from their house.  They didn’t have an antiques sign ‘out’.  They had a sign with their name on it.  A very small sign with their name on it.  It was not uncommon to me to go to ...similar... houses with similar signs to and sell... antiques.  Behind these tiny signs and the front doors of these houses... little people; usually long married couples with ‘family’... and always much older than my sixteen... ‘lived’ as antiquarian ...either... ‘collectors’ or ‘dealers’ or... both.  Knock, knock... “who’s there” was my understanding of ‘how’ I ‘go there’; to these houses.
            Each house had its own VERY CONCISE interpretation of ...the FLAT world of ‘what’ ‘ANTIQUES’ ‘is’ inclusive ...and capped... by the FLAT world of  what ‘old New England ANTIQUES’.  Is.
            I liked that.
            One woman’s husband sold hub caps he gathered and purveyed from a long self designed clothes rack style display behind their home.  I did not care about hub caps... unless I found one...;  FOUND ONE... and ‘saved it’ “FOR YOU”.  His wife ‘collected’ “PATTERN GLASS”.  Specifically she collected egg in sand pattern.  “ANY OF THAT”  “I ALWAYS WANT” she told me.  I ‘did that’ AND brought the rest of the Victorian era pattern glass I “FOUND” to her.  Too.  We got along great inclusive of I ‘having’ the occasional hub cap.  Too.  Their flat world of antiquarian intrigue viewed through... old New England Victorian pattern glass and... old New England hub caps... purloined by I from... old New England estates... was a splendid flat world where they and I could ...and always did... see the edge of and... ‘never fall off’.

            The first household I mentioned was a different matter. Or was it different ‘style’?  This couple ‘received me’ at their front door... as opposed to the hub cap ‘by the garage side door to the kitchen COME RIGHT YOUNG FELLA’.  ‘Received’, I was ‘invited’ into their front right parlor.  Seated, I and her (the wife) exchanged pleasantries while ‘he’ disappeared to return with a ... serving tray ... that held... most of an English coin silver 1830’s tea and coffee service... on it.  This tray was a medium sized Chippendale rococo edged black ‘japanned’ ‘paper mache’ ‘with oriental scenes’ with these LONG WORN to be just ‘traces of’ as was the LONG WORN from actual usage... ‘tray’.  Set on top of a drop leaf table against the side wall of the room ‘he’ disappeared again only to return a true ‘shortly’ with a... matching coin silver coffee pot filled with hot coffee.  I presume in hindsight this coffee was freshly percolated by electrical methods their kitchen.  ‘He’ poured  three cups while saying ‘Cream?’ to me over his shoulder.  “Sugar?” followed.  “No thank you” I always said for the sugar.  ‘He’ brought a full cup on saucer to his wife first.  Then to I ...who slightly stood up at his approach.  Then sat down and... set down the cup and saucer on a ...transitional Sheraton Empire ‘tilt top’ ‘stand’ (candle stand) next to my ‘chair’; a large ‘second period’ (1900) colonial style black painted four slat back arm chair... with ‘Dutch feet’ (Hudson River style).  Everyone in the room knew that the ‘stand’ was ‘no good’ and ‘hard to sell’ so that it was ok to ‘set thing on it’, spill things on it and... ‘leave a ring’.  I was given a thick white linen napkin, neatly pressed and folded, too.  In case I spilled?  I never spilled.
            The cup on its saucer ... each... for all three of us... were never mentioned ever.  They were 1780’s or earlier perfect condition Chinese ‘Canton’ porcelain with vivid hand painted (under the glaze) blue decoration.  18th century Chinese porcelain touched my lips.  Oh... I forgot to notice the feather thin small 18th century English ‘coin silver’ ‘tea spoon’ that came beside the cup... in the saucer.  “Signed Bateman” I was told once when I was caught turning the spoon over to ‘look at its back’.  It took me about two years to configure that ‘Bateman’ means Hester Bateman.  SHE was an English 18th century silversmith.  I learned... myself.
            That is the first fundamental I learned ‘here’:  NOTHING was EVER ‘said’ about ANY... THING... EVER.  ‘You knew’... or ...did not know... ON YOUR OWN.  Every... THING... was a ‘know’ or ‘did not know’ there.  This was ...silently passed; the know or not know.  NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER... EVER... ‘talked about’.  This is because... this is the way it was (IS).  Silver touches your lips....:  YOUR LIPS.  Got it?  Porcelain is your SIP...:  GOT IT?  You do not sop up with your napkin because YOU DO NOT SPILL, break, smash, tip over, stain, mark, ‘ring’ or ... ask ‘how much is that WORTH?’.
            The second fundamental I learned ‘here’ is that... EVERY ...THING... is a ‘little message from the corners of the rooms’ that show... FUNDAMENTALLLY what... the room owner and ...decorator... ‘knows’ or.... DOES NOT KNOW.  Rarely ever... meaning NEVER... is this a setting where ‘forgotten about’ is found.  Under the silently passed discipline of... training... the knowing... there is no ‘forgot about’.  Ever.  Because... ‘silver touches your lips’.
            Porcelain is your sip.
            One always knows... what’s touching one’s lips and what IS your sip.  Especially when it is ‘not that’ (silver and porcelain).

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