There’s a certain insidiousness in the little
tchotchkes that seem to creep into the corners of one’s life. Their power lies in their smallness I think. The size of their cross-section seems to avoid detection. Their low profile protects them during critical landscape sweeps, so that no matter how many times you move, no matter how many times you spring clean and no matter how many times you donate to charity, they’re still there. How did they get there? What vague significance do they hold? It’s as if their prolonged presence, their sheer endurance, has made them relevant, meaningful. Perseverance has given them squatters’ rights, legitimized their stake in whatever nook they’ve claimed as their own. At least, that’s the way it is with Betty Boop and the stones.
The pale porcelain figurine of Betty Boop with her perfectly coiffed, black hair is no bigger than my index finger, and her white dog is so tiny that I have no idea how it has managed not to disappear over time. I’ve only vague, youthful memories of Betty Boop and her coy
“Boop, oop-a-doop” tag line, and I’ve no particular attachment to them. I can’t even
remember when I got her. I can only remember that when I saw her I liked all the shiny red: red lipstick, red tuxedo-jacket and red accessories. Where was she going that required such drama? I never wear red. I’m not a red person. I am a person who wears blue for casual and black for business. At home it’s all about green: green walls, green furniture and green-leaf-motifs. It’s sprinkled with just enough other color to emphasize the green’s
value and to avoid monochromatic monotony.
The stones were gathered at times of no significance. They’re mere odds and ends collected in passing fancy because they tempted me with a morsel of story. There’s a grey stone from some odd beach on some odd vacation that I picked up because it happened to look like a foot with no toes. How does one retain balance with no toes? Looking at it
kicked loose the memory of the “Footprints” poem, so I tossed it in my pocket. Then
there’s a dusty-brown stone with raised, ragged, cream-colored lines on its surface that I plucked from a river-rock bed on a curbed peninsula behind a gas station where I waited one day as my car was inspected. The smooth raised lines reminded me of scar tissue. Though it was clearly capable of self-healing, the stone never-the-less seemed battle-weary so I brought it home. Then, there’s a Shiva Lingam that I bought because its polished latte surface wrapped with chocolate swirls seemed like smooth skin bound by a spiral
birthmark, one of nature’s pictographs designed for a far more discerning eye than mine. Still, I carried it home and placed it with the others on an overlooked blue plate where they
reside, to this day, safely ensconced in a green-leaf oasis. My blue-plate special comes with a main dish, three sides and all their useless information and still I can’t get no
…satisfaction. Hmmm…yard sale, trash? Oh, they’re small, maybe next time. Let me
think about it when I finish dusting.
To join the challenge: The Daily Post–Weekly Writing Challenge: A Splash of Color