Sunday, December 25, 2011

Moldy Christmas

I asked my brother-in-law and PolackPappy to pull an old trunk of mine out of the barn so I could go through it, finally, and maybe bring to my apartment to keep. But it turned out to be covered in mold, inside and out, and mold had permeated Babcia's party dresses from the '30s, and the exquisitely tailored handmade fripperies from the late 19th century that had belonged to an old wealthy woman whose lawn PolackPappy used to mow.

I had to throw them all away. Along with my class yearbooks, my high school literary magazine, a bunch of photographs, and Blue, my mother's stuffed dog.

Mold had gotten to the real treasures, too: handwritten letters from dead relations and dead relationships. A tiny note from Babcia began "Dear McP, I do not like to see the word 'fuck' in print." Despite her disappointment at my word choice, she'd enclosed twenty-eight dollars, enough for a year's subscription to the weekly newspaper that was my first "real" job out of college. A letter she wrote when PolackPappy was undergoing chemo started out asking "How's my girl?" and then briefly mentioned how tired PP looked.

I get the sense that I'm the memory-keeper in my immediate family, though I wonder sometimes who I'm keeping the memories for. Anyways, I'm confident I held on to the important stuff.


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