What’s in the box?
Gwyneth Paltrow’s severed head I presume.
As far as movies go, there is usually a bomb or a gun or some terrible secret inside every one, like plot twisting Cracker Jack Prizes.
I loves me all the movies especially the ones that twist and wind and leave me guessing. But in this instance, they’re wrong.
“Your heart is an empty room”. Death Cab for Cutie
I also like Death Cab for Cutie, but in this case, they are also wrong.
My heart IS a room, but its full, of boxes, some skeletons, but no heads.
I wander into that room often. Each container carefully labeled with the last thing that person said.
Jumbled and disorganized. Some up on high shelves, others within reach. Some of them are rather ornate. Some of them have ballerinas spinning to the music that leaks out when they are opened. Some are just cardboard, brown paper packages tied up with string, others look like Martha Stewart went to town on a wedding gift for a Russian Czar and Faberge designed the wrapping paper. There are mangled hunks of smoldering metal, black boxes salvaged after the crash.
But they are all gifts in their own ways, something to be treasured in every single one.
I love them all, but not all the same.
I take them off the shelves, examine the contents. Write about what I find here. Toss what no longer fits, add new memories.
Snapshots of precious moments, run downs of old scripts, set direction and monologues. Wisps of things left unsaid but felt. Sachets, soundtracks and mementos. Post-it notes and postcards reminders of places we’ve been.
3 boxes are empty, they left nothing worth keeping. Those boxes are labeled “what not to do”. I feel an old hurt and I peek, only to heed their warnings. The instructions read, “Once upon a time someone did this thing to me and I will not do unto others”.
The Ark of the Covenant is in here, I have a radio to God, I use it often, mostly to say ‘Thank you’. There is a black briefcase much like the one belonging to Marcellus Wallace, glows golden when I open it, the contents a secret to everyone but me. Toy boxes that emit moan and squeals of delight when opened, I play with those ones for hours.
There was one, looked like it was wrapped up in caution tape. I had forgotten about it. Up on a high shelf, off ‘to the left to the left. Everything you own in a box to the left’ (Beyonce). Woke up one morning and BOOM there it was, in the middle of the room. I walked circles around it like tom cats in an alley, waiting for a fight. The fight never came. What I mistook for a warning was a benign yellow ribbon. The letters spelled out ‘fragile, handle with care’.
“Is okay I open the box?
S’alright? s’alright. S’okay? S’okay.”
It is alright.
I lifted the lid and a bit of music slipped out. Dulcet tones, pleasant and soothing. I opened it a little more and found the following.
Pickles make him puke.
I say que paso, he hears gay pasta.
He smiles during slasher flicks but a girl in a fedora makes him recoil in horror.
I can hear him singing when he thinks I am not listening.
I smell pomade, man-sweat from him working all day, then soap after a shower.
His eyes, lit up like Christmas over this or that but mostly the idea of showing me something new, like honest trailers for Pokémon.
Anything he is passionate about animates him into this sight to behold.
I see him sleeping in the morning, his mouth curling up at the edges when I wake him up, nicely.
I see hands. His. Carefully re-wrapping a new tattoo with an unexpected gentleness.
I remember he has nerve damage in one hand from a random accident, he can’t feel it and he doesn’t like holding hands, but he held mine sometimes by random accident.
I feel his arms, forming a protective circle around my waist at the moments I need them the most.
A lovely mental photograph. Tattooed hands on my pale thighs, a shock of messy brown hair, messier because my fingers were tangled in it, and those eyes, peeking, peering up at me, smiling at the noises I just made.
When I get put in my own box, in the ground, I’ll take this and a few other choice memories to the grave.
Oh, the label on this box? (Kisses my forehead) “Don’t worry, you’ll see me again.”