My Attachment to Things, So Embarrassing
When Daddy Joe died—killed by a train in what the responding officer called as clean a t-bone as he’d ever seen—Mother said she stopped caring about things. Only people mattered. I always took this to mean that attachment to things was shallow.
I love my new burnt sienna pillow cases in wrinkly linen. I love my 1950s TV trays I’m using as end tables. The tiny cake plate that I got from 505, china and exquisite, has my heart. If you want to know the truth, I’m attached to the West Elm chairs that face the river view where Tom and I sit each morning, drinking our coffee. I LOVE what I did with the rugs on the concrete floors of the new condo. One layered on another so that we have “under” rugs and “top” rugs, all cream and grey and tan. I like the steel restaurant table Tom’s using as a writing desk and the sleek leather sofa and the bitty end tables shaped like tiddlywinks that we got from Target.
I have always carried this attachment to things. It happens quickly and completely. So that I saved the gum ball from Daddy’s grave. And the hickory nut that Robb Pate gave to me (“Don’t say I never gave you anything,” the Elvis impersonator said as he laid it in my palm.) I’ve justified this character flaw by pointing out things that capture me don’t have to be expensive. As if that made a difference.
Did I mention the tall gold tapers I love stuck in the sterling candlesticks Tom gave me for my birthday? Or the cut crystal nut bowls from Bigmama’s (that I mis-typed and called “Butt bowls” so now that’s all I think of when I see them sparkling in the light)?
Tomorrow, the man from the Common Market will lever the bookcase onto a dolly. He will wheel it a block and half down the sidewalk to our condo. When he unloads it, the acquisition of things for the new condo will be complete. Remaining to arrive is Uncle Hebron’s army trunk from WWII which will be the toy chest. All the things, lodged in my condo, attached to my heart.