There 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 on 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
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”