Out of the boxpublished: 2010-08-08
Open the box that says “basement.”
You put it there five years ago. You plan to put the box out on the streets. You open it first.
Things wrapped in newspaper.
A wooden fertility doll from Ghana, one of its arms is still broken. You once lent it to a friend as she wasn’t conceiving. Her husband joked around with it and rubbed it all over his body for fun, then gave it back. Your friend is no longer with him. She has a new husband. And a child.
A small, wooden Unicef-Christmas stall. Your sister gave you that when you moved into your first studio.
Stones from the beach of the island you were born and always return to, even though you’re never sure you will. When you die, you want your body to be thrown into the sea in front of that beach. You want yje fish to feed from you and your leftovers to disintegrate there.
A porcelain doll of a lady who quaintly leans forward to give someone a kiss, that person being you. The man who you based your previous novel on gave you that. He is no longer alive.
A photo of another friend’s wedding. You stand to the left of her. Your high-school bestfriend to the right. You haven’t seen her for quite a few years. You look at her image and wonder why you always thought you knew her. You don’t really know that face.
This one comes out of the box. You place it on your desk because it no longer makes you sad.
You carefully wrap new things in newspaper and put them in the box.
The wooden carving of a man who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Your son walks in and refers to it as the “sadden-man.”
A plastic plant with yellow flowers. Your niece gave that to you when she first stayed the night. She had also given you an image of a bride and groom after you had announced you were getting married. Somehow, that wedding never came about. He asked you, though, and you think of that when seeing that image.
You close the box, write the word “important” beneath the word “basement.” And then carry the box downstairs.