The packing (edited)

She chooses what will go into the box. So much generosity and so much history. The jewelry is a certainty. No one could bear it against their skin, just now. It is like the words I love you; whether precious or no, they would burn the throat.

There are two exceptions. One, the pomegranate necklace. 6 months in hell it represents, so she will allow it to stay for 6 months, alongside jewelry unworn since childhood. It is a literary conceit, but this is her.

The second, a sapphire and white gold ring. This was not quite the first gift, but it represented the bond. The first serious gift, an engagement. If she dies, the particular she to whom it was given, it will be sent to her husband, ex or no.

The shirt which reads “Watch out, or you’ll end up in my novel” stays. It was a joke. Now it is a threat, perhaps a certainty, but directed at the one who left, and so it is kept for irony. The scarf and shawl join the jewelry. The rest is put away in any case, with the clothing that will not fit again for several months, and will be dealt with then.

Of the knick knacks, the little precious stones, the small bottles, the silver hands, she selects the most of them. There are two exceptions: The boxes. One of wood was eerily the same pattern of the one in which she buried her daughter, selected by the one who left without having seen the larger. To rid it again is too much. Since it stays, the other box does as well. They are stacked. There is also a certain practicality here, as they contain things that were not given. This is how she is at turns: a little ruthless.

If it were a car, she would drive it.

The stained glass oval with its iris does not fit in the box, so it is left, at least for now. It would perhaps be pleasant to smash it at some future date, some moment of pain for which the one who left is absent. But the pen and paperknife and particularly the box with the glass bottle in it are packed.

She toys briefly with the idea of sending the glass bottle with a message. But this is what the box is for, to cease to connect.

The dolls are packed in their own boxes, to lie with this one. They are collectors items and she muses that perhaps later she will see if they have value on eBay, even though she knows likely she will not. In any case they will be put away.

The books and videos are left for now. If one wounds it will be donated, but to keep in the box is ridiculous. One may always refind such things. The CDs are placed in the box, although most are ripped to iTunes and might resurface there. There is a certain reluctance to part a second time with a collection, as before the decision has been made in haste, over some of this same music.

A few more items and the deed is done. She seals the box with tape and places it in the basement with other boxes, other deferred decisions. She labels it so that when the decision comes, no opening will be required.


About Jenn

Find me on Twitter @JennGruden
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