The great Marvin Gaye would have been 70 today. He was shot and killed by his father on the day before his 45th birthday. Amazingly, Marvin Sr. only received six years of probation for murdering his son.
ďMomís wedding dress,Ē I say, not telling him that I paid to have this gorgeous, heavy cream satin dress preserved several years ago.
ďLetís get rid of it,Ē he says energetically, while looking over what remains of generations of things and stuff.
Without thinking, I say no, and practically grab it away from him. ďWhoís ever going to wear it again?Ē he asks over his shoulder, digging through another box, not even thinking about it.
I set it aside, and put my own wedding dress in the pile for the charity shop.
Itís my motherís birthday. She would have been 77 this year. She ventured into darkness, alone, like the only child she was, a few years ago. I donít miss her more now than I did when she was alive. She left me a long time ago. And I long ago accepted she didnít or couldnít love me and never would.
- My birth announcement, complete with photo (I was one ugly baby);
- My silver christening mug (why did our atheist parents have us christened? For the presents? To make the grandparents happy?);
- The stereoscope from around 1900, complete with slides in a tin box;
- My great-grandfatherís Bible, which my grandfather carried into battle during WWI;
- Letters from a close friend during her modeling days in Paris, Milan, London, and New York, 25 years ago;
- One of my sisterís favorite summer outfits from when she was two years old;
- Love letters.
A girl walks down the platform, gesturing with her free hand, her cell phone pressed against her ear. ďItís like, do I date him, or just sleep with him?Ē she asks. The age-old question.
A man sporting a ZZ Top style beard and overalls with no shirt sits on one of the benches, his belongings clustered around his feet, blowing bubbles into the morning light, and smiling with the delight of a child.
A man slips out of his t-shirt, momentarily enjoying the sun on his bare skin before he struggles to button his work shirt.
Now the kittens are free to play on the porch, so they can enjoy the sun and the air without being in danger. Theyíre happy.
It was made around 1900. The center stone is over one and a half carats, and the side stones total another half. The setting is filigreed platinum.
The jeweler peers at it through a magnifying glass, pointing out the flaws, but also giving me a little history lesson about diamonds and how they and their settings have changed over the years. It would be interesting if I werenít planning to sell it.
She offers me less than a quarter of the value on the insurance appraisal. Fighting back tears, I agree.
The cats lie flat on the floor of the porch, staying in the shade and trying to catch stray breezes. It must be hellish to have a fur coat in weather like this. Itís too hot for them to play and cuddle the way they usually do, and their stillness is as strange as the record-breaking heat in spring. This, too, will pass.