by YONA C. RIEL

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Purple Velvet Dream

  Volunteering at MECCA is an unusual adventure, especially if you like to dig through the remnants of someone else’s life.  People come in and donate anything from bottle caps to costume jewelry, old art supplies and sometimes even unfinished creations.
     Tuesday was like any other day, sorting through boxes and boxes of  junk.  It’s a mind absorbing process for anyone... (what is this?, where should i put it?, and do we keep this or give it to st vinnies?), but for me with the damage to my right frontal lobe I can only do it for an hour or two before i have to run outside and listen to some music.
   It was some time around three (which is when we close the doors) that  debbie’s daughter said “Hey mom, look what I found.” 
     Being exhausted and needing a break I dropped my sorting process and went over to examine the find. (Treasures are one of my main sources of entertainment and what keeps me coming back day after day.)  It was a piece of paper that had been folded and unfolded so many times that it tore but instead of throwing it away the person had taped it back together, continuing to fold and unfold for what I imagine to be several more years.  On it was written a love poem.  “Plastic bags float down the street, I let myself wander into you, and it’s like a purple velvet dream....”.  It continues on in this vain till we get to the last line which reads ‘and you laugh, laugh and laugh and as you laugh i heal, i heal and heal for who i love you heal me”.
   Or at least that is what I think it says.  It is items like this that command my brain to make up stories for.  Could a guy really write this or was it a woman?  How old was this person and how old were they when they finally decided to give up the love letter?  Or had they simply lost it, leaving it perhaps in a journal or a book only for Debbie’s daughter to find it? 
     What is so attractive to me about this ugly little piece of paper is the that it was kept (folded in a pocket?) over such a long period of time and that it had been read and reread so many times that it had begun to actually disintegrate.  In other words it was something worth believing in.  And the person believed in these scrawled words over a long period of time.
   Is it only first loves that we do this with or is it obsessive loves that we do this with?   One thing is certain; there are more than just one of us carrying around scrawled love poems.