Letters from Home

Post Script from Elizabethtown

Mail boxThere are two green metal boxes in my attic. I am not sure, but I think there were once used for gun cartridges. They are Canadian military issue. They don’t hold anything deadly anymore. Just old love letters, none of mine.

It’s early, grey morning. I’ve made tea, and now it’s cooling on the counter. I can’t abide hot drinks these days. I am hot inside, all the time. I am opposite of what I used to be.

An old friend of mine has disappeared and I can’t find him. He left Elizabethtown and has gone somewhere else. It isn’t hard to track people down– google, facebook, twitter, linkedin– eventually their trace turns up. But I haven’t been looking for him yet. I’ve been letting him, so far, float onĀ  the water of mystery for a while. When I need him, I can find him.

There are old things in my house that have such memories embedded in them. When old Bill, my neighbor, was downsizing, he gave me all those wooden tables, the cork board, the boxes of old ornaments. They were all dusted with his widowed love. Inside the table drawer, buttons and spools rolled out her memory.

The first time I encountered the green metal boxes, I opened them with Colin on the other side of the room. “What’s in here?” I said blandly. We were resorting boxes after moving back from London.

“Don’t look in there!” he exclaimed. I expected a mummified curse to explode in my face.

I recognized the shape of the contents before I shut the lid. The telltale corners of envelopes and photos and postcards, crammed into a tiny space, holding tightly to the love of ages.

Family is coming to visit. I was putting away the last of the unpacked boxes. I moved the green metal boxes to the attic yesterday. Things stirred. I am awake in the early morning, second guessing. I am longing for my old friend, gone from Elizabethtown.

The party’s over,
the clock’s long struck twelve
Now you can be you
and I can turn into myself… oh no..

My sisters will ask me,
“How was the ball?”
I’ll say I don’t want to talk about it at all
Oh, no

And I will get up in the morning,
got to buy me some shoes
I will get up in the morning,
I ‘ve got nothing to lose.

I was not dreaming, no, I was awake.
It was real–
I would have known if it were all fake.
I would have known.

I lost my glass slipper
as well as my pride
I have to admit that I don’t know truth from lies…
Truth from lies.

I will get up in the morning.
Got to buy me some shoes.

–Catie Curtis “The Party’s Over”

4 thoughts on “Post Script from Elizabethtown

  1. Pingback: Middle Zone Musings » What I Learned From 2008 - Elizabeth Howard
  2. I love lyrics.. Some people listen to music for the tune, but not me. Give me a singer-songwriter any day.

    I’m not down, but my dreams often key into my nostalgic and mournful side. That is particularly true when I am awake in the earliest morning hours.

    If you are looking for a song, you can always find in on youtube… I listened to it. It was swell. (-:

  3. Hey – hope you’re not as down as this post makes me think you might be! Or, if you are, I hope you get something good out of it, and that it doesn’t last too long.

    Been doing a little of the ol’ Jackson Browne lately…he has some real unknown-to-me gems (along with about 10 or 12 known ones).

    Not the same without the music and the voice, but this is a start to one that made me think of your post. Download the mp3 if you get a chance…

    “Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer, I was taken by a photograph of you,
    There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more, But they didn’t show your spirit quite as true.

    You were turning round to see who was behind you, And I took your childish laughter by surprise.
    And at the moment that my camera happened to find you, There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes.

    Now the things that I remember seem so distant and so small, Though it hasn’t really been that long a time.
    What I was seeing wasnt what was happening at all…”

  4. “…dusty with widowed love.” That naled the heart strings. Nice, very nice.

    Well, I don’t seem to have saved ANY of that stuff, and that’s a bit of a bummer, too.

    Whose family is coming to town? I hope its yours – seeing as you just returned from time with his!

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