Monday, June 20, 2011

The contents of my mother's drawer

At the end of her life, my mother had hardly any possessions--some clothes, an ancient television, a couple of pieces of furniture (were those even hers?). But she did have the contents of a bed-side drawer, where I found all of these items except a photo of my dad, which was perched on a ledge above her. It appeared to have been folded and injured, probably by her: one of her neighbors is infamous for destroying family photos unless they're contained in the sealed box outside her door. There are photos we sent her of the kids; a Ph.D. graduation photo; some birthday cards, the most recent of which was 2007 or so; there are lyrics to religious songs, including "Mansion Just Over the Hilltop," which begins: "I'm satisfied with just a cottage below, / A little silver and a little gold; / But in that city where the ransomed will shine, / I want a gold one that's silver lined." Finally, there's a small ripped out section of a novel that belonged to another resident, namely Hobgoblin by John Coyne. (This resident turns out to be one of the lovebirds.) The first page of this copy, which is page 277 of the book, has quite a sex scene on it; at the bottom, etched into the page from an earlier one, can be found seven question marks.

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