Whatever happens in a calm, concise, coordinated manor in the next seconds as an I... such as I... bolts past a gatekeeper... restricting my access to a presumed and potentially undisturbed ‘attic-estate-antique filled’... treasure trove ...; an any space... holding prior physically denial AND an inner-me contemplated ... ‘coy façade of fabricated myth’... of MY antiquarian ...aura of halo... grab bag: The calm, concise, coordinated... IS my coy façade of fabricated myth... made on the spot to FOG ALL so I may ‘ALL’ by myself thank you no one else is allowed in. I do not need much time. I need seconds.
Behind the façade there is a roar of sounds, sea-to-horizon views, micro-million film clips of knowing knowledge played, compass-sextant dark storm deck stance for direction fathoms, moss observed on the north side of trees, first responders arrive, chaotic static disc jockey scratching, whiteout, blackout, desperate leap and... the disgusting fraud of phony poise... as the new space et al... is... to I... ‘affirmed’. Then... it is over; mechanical mechanics take over. “I”...eye... the iota everywhere ALL OF IT... homage, fussy, soiled, miss-matched, wall hung, carpeted, doggie, kitty littered, herbal musty mildew dark wet stained... wall paper pealing... above that chair so stacked full with a ...blanket on it’s top.
I am picking up the blanket.
For no reason.
As my eyes seeing... I... seeing the WHOLE SPACE including the ceiling being heaven above and the rat nest cardboard box stack listing ...beside the door OPEN at the room’s back... PAST the TRAIL THROUGH (the room) LEADING THERE... to... exist and enter ...to pass by where I stand to reach HELEN... in the doorway STANDING... no... now leaning on her LEFT HAND is back NOW BLOCKING MY ESCAPE from this ...room.
She is looking at me turned towards her holding the blanket as I am radiant in the double window light that illuminates an ‘is it hazy in here?” Or is it just me ...returning from my moon walk?
“THAT’S MY CAMP blanket. Mama MADE the SILK EDGE for me so it won’t scratch my chin.”
I look down at the ...neatly folded, clean and crisp brown on light brown Greek key patterned ‘old wool blanket’ with its old and hand sewn pink silk/satin (?) end finish. I see the old and centered usage creasing to this pink strip where... a chin has... not been scratched. I... don’t know what to do with the blanket. I don’t know how I came to be holding it or ...why I came to be holding it. The chair... stacked full... IS right there in front of me still as I... ‘is it hazy in here’ SEE this but only can force myself to very slowly lift up the blanket and... set it back. “There” I say.
“I FOUND THAT AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT SO I brought it down here to USE if it gets cold but it NEVER gets COLD when I’m here so it’s BEEN RIGHT THERE for, well... YEARS.”
My inner me had processed data: Processed the data... and was STILL processing data. The incoming report:
“THIS IS AN ATTIC.”
“THE ROOM IS AN ATTIC.”
“YOUR IN THE ATTIC”.
“THE WHOLE MANSION... if it looks like this... IS AN ATTIC”.
It was. It still is
THE WHOLE Savage estate Mansion... was that day and everyday since... to be to this day... IS AN ATTIC.
“MAMA didn’t want me to take it (the blanket) to COLLEGE. I could never understand that” Helen said.
“It’s a nice blanket.” I heard myself say. I was looking at a cottage clock... sitting next to... a second large... this time ‘covered” (has a lid) sawtooth patterned milk glass ... Early American Pressed Glass... “goes with the other one (in the first – front room) (Part Three)... huh... been there... must be... for... (one hundred and fifty years)”. My eyes continue their high speed wander.
“It’s.” I hear myself start to say.
“MOST OF THIS IN HERE isn’t ANY OF MINE. This room has always looked like this. WE SAT OUT HERE (the room behind Helen) and THIS ROOM...”
“You just walk through to get there.” I say.
“EXACTLY! So I never sort of LOOKED AROUND in here. THAT’S WHY it is so CLUTTERED but it really isn’t anything I did. It has always been just LIKE IT IS except I’ve SET a few things down here and there. Like the blanket. I THOUGHT I was going to use it. OH THAT WAS AUNT Millie’s. Isn’t THAT NICE. She bought it somewhere in NEW YORK. It’s HAND PAINTED.”
I didn’t know what it was but had ...been caught and... caught myself ...looking at this odd painted covered pottery (?) something that had slid off the stack on the chair... from under the blanket... back into the corner of the chair. “I.” I said.
“OH now you can SEE HOW MUCH there is. This where Eileen FISHER started to call me a clutter bug. FIRST OFF it’s NOT MY clutter. SECOND OFF... as you can SEE... IT’S NOT CLUTTER. These are GOOD THINGS. They are MY family’s THINGS in here. YOU can see that already I KNOW. But what do I DO about this; what do YOU do? TELL ME.”
(“TIME!” screamed in my inner-inner. Time be... well... loosing this battle. TIME has already been ‘wasted’ [my selfish tag] just getting into this room: I had to do the ...antiques picker’s chat-up in the ‘dead in the water’ front room to... ‘finally’ get INTO ‘this room’. TIME had just been four minutes of ‘wasted’ in this room as I ...had a spastic fit [?] of picker grab-bag finds treasure trove. TIME was NOW ‘LUNCH TIME’... [“eleven”?]... ‘is coming. Looming?. I... it [TIME] has NOT been ‘any wasted’ for both chat-up and spastic fit a PRIMARY to assure my I that this is “A GOOD ONE”. I mean... I’m in heaven. The room is full of ‘antiques’. It’s an attic. The house if full. IT’S AN ATTIC. So... TIME... well spent ...to be at this moment WASTED because I... can see antiques EVERYWHERE IN HERE that all I need to do is back the truck up to the front door and LOAD everything in BOTH rooms into the truck... take out the wing chair (Part Three) at home and sell that 1-800-NEW YORK and... take the rest of ‘it’ to the flea market ‘Sunday’ and... SELL IT. TIME... means... Helen... is ...going out to lunch... very soon?)
(And she just asked a WASTE MORE TIME... question!)
“I do? What I DO is LOOK... at every... thing. First. The WHOLE everything is that this room IS NOT ...as you just said... filled with clutter. Or trash. Or garbage. Or dirty. It is a CLEAN room full of your family’s ANTIQUES. Then I carefully look over all the contents without disturbing it. That means I do not mess up the room as it is right now. I do not rummage but... consciously inspect WITHOUT rummaging. I look at everything CAREFULLY. I look for heritage, history..., antiques and design.” Noticing this last word fall short of Helen I amend it saying “ART; antiques and art.”
“Oh.” Helen says. She’s still not clear... on the whole foursome. “That’s VERY INTERESTING you SAY THAT. Do you DO WHAT THEN?”
“I look and configure what I see.”
“There doesn’t seem to be very much ART in here.”
“It’s all art. It is more a just-how-much-is-it-art.” I say right back. I’m shifting fully into my mechanical mechanics mode (noted above). It’s pat; I start to glide.
“How much art?” Helen says.
“Oh say this... the BLANKET. It IS some sort of ‘has art’... probably if we chase it back in its design history... we end up on a, well, Peruvian mountainside with the actual WEAVE. We get the Greeks for the Greek Key decoration; the DESIGN. So there’s some art. Antiquarian interest is... well.... collectible CAMP BLANKET. They buy ‘em; decorate with them. At a camp. Sort of. That means not too much money or interest. This one’s good and clean so that means decorator ready. That plays into the blanket’s history; the HISTORY of camp blankets... in camps. Here a girl’s camp blanket; you took it to camp?”
“Camp? I did.” Helen said.
“Its heritage then. That the big one; heritage: It’s YOUR CAMP BLANKET. HELEN Savage Roth’s CAMP BLANKET that YOU used... at CAMP. Heritage... on something like this... merges with history; camp blanket history, DESIGN history and ANTIQUARIN interest to, well really.... GREATLY enhance the blanket. Actually makes it come alive. As an artifact.”
Helen looked at me. “Very interesting.” She said. “THEN what do you do”.
“I tell you that.”
“That’s what I’m here for; to do that with the whole contents.”
“You just leave it?”
“Well... It’s not mine. It’s YOURS. The blanket is YOURS.
“Oh... I thought you sold it or something.”
“No. That’s for YOU to do. If you want to. For me... it goes back on the chair where I found it. I’m done with it.
“Do you LIKE the blanket?” Helen said.
“Of course. It’s quite nice. Especially with the heritage; that YOU... that it was YOURS and YOU used it. That makes it special. Most blankets... in the market... are just floating around out there with no heritage attached. Just blankets someone found and are trying to sell. Mostly.”
“I don’t see how this all gets figured out. Isn’t there suppose to be more? Like a LIST or something? With how much it’s worth?”
“That’s an appraisal. You can get that done if you want. I don’t do that. For that blanket; I mean... an appraisal isn’t worth it. Like... it’s thirty bucks if your lucky. A write up appraisal for it would cost that much at least. For that blanket... it’s the heritage of the blanket... especially with the OTHER heritage in here; the estate. Heritage may be a big part of your contents value. I don’t know yet. I’ve only been in two rooms. And this one; I’m running out of time today and haven’t even STARTED to poke around.”
Well... I can SEE the compote and clock over there. We saw the pottery slide in the chair. What’s this right here?” I say lifting up a framed photograph of a young girl. It was obvious that it was ‘of Helen’. “That’s YOU, right?”
“Me? Yes. That’s me.”
“That’s you when you used the blanket at CAMP. Right?”
“I... well, YES; I would have THEN.”
“Heritage. See? That photograph of you is heritage and goes with the blanket. THOSE... together... make more interesting ART. It makes better history; enhances the design interest. Heritage. I’ve seen a lot of that so far in here. So let me look around in here for a few minutes.”
“GO AHEAD.” Helen said but... she did not step away from the doorway. I was stuck with her... ‘watching me’.