(A blast from my past)
You would never think a room the size of a storage closet would have an allure. A calling. You wouldn’t think it would be worthy to mentioning. William Shakespeare once said, “No legacy is so rich as honesty”. Let me be honest, let me be frank – this room has enchantment, the glitter that hits your vision causing that magnetism, something I almost hunger for. Oh. I’m sorry. I haven’t explained. This is a cozy, claustrophobic room to the left of the ticket booth in the back of the auditorium. It is behind the main seating area down the double doors and camouflaging with the paint of the wall. A flat, mind-numbing shade but it’s acceptable. Upon entry, one realizes you have just stumbled upon the King Tut’s tomb of prop rooms, and that paint color no longer matters at all.
Just recently, I was asked to clean the prop room by my colleague and instructor Mr. Waites. The journey was nerve-wrecking, what will I actually be doing? Is this even worth my time? Is it going to be complicated? However, my group mates were polar opposites of me- they had attachments to the props, and knew their history. So after Steve and Beth (mostly Steve) figured out the suitable key and then the light switch went on like a hose bursting, flooding my vision with wonder.
I absorbed my foreign surroundings and realized the enormity of the situation at hand. While deciding where to start, my eyes became sponges as they absorbed all of the miscellaneous objects: glasses and gold goblets and international plates, and almost too fine china took up much of the right shelf. I became a private collector and a mother, meticulously handling and arranging the wine glasses so that each one had a partner. There, underneath the shelf of old mason jars, was a tin filled with a bundle of journals. Beth pulled one out and read aloud eagerly, “What is up with Peter Rabbit? What’s so great about him anyway? I’m human being. He’s just a rabbit, an animal, nothing special about a stupid, puny rabbit. If there can be books about this ridiculous excuse for a rabbit, how about a book about me?” That was the exact moment I came across a music box. This box was black marble with a white frame and played the most enchanting tune. The tune sounded like something angels would hear in heaven.
I sorted 17th century swords, pitchforks, canes, crutches and remarkable wands with azure streamers.
“No we are not putting the box of swords, canes, and other potential threats in the middle and then moving it to the right side to save room on the left!” I yelped suddenly my voice cracking from lack of use. I realized I hadn’t spoken in quite a while, which is rare for someone who loves to engage in conversation.
“Why on earth not?” Steve said confused. “It would save a considerable amount of space and you just said you wanted to save space, remember?”
“Let me put it this way. All of the fragile glassware is in that vicinity. If someone pulled something such a sword out in a back handed motion and went too far the disaster of glasses shattering everywhere would be unavoidable.” I demonstrated this potential motion after my epiphany, and we all were in accordance.
Beth read to us from the journal about the hate of Peter Rabbit, me completely confused as to who has time to write such an expository. Now, telephones, adorable tea sets, and delicate tiffany bags saturated in dust and memories. Skulls, oversized Q-tips, polished silverware, and bitter smelling champagne bottles, things you won’t come across just anywhere.
Now we were immersing ourselves in work. The two antique shelves in the back vicinity of the room were so trim, the mother was proud of her children, the private collector satisfied. Tights in Nordstrom boxes, blue jars, boxes of pure imagination were in every nook and cranny. The dust was beginning to pester me. It was not easily visible, but when I blew, I got a stale coffee taste, the dust momentarily suffocating my lungs with gray flakes.
We moved crates out and rearranged the back two shelves. The shelves probably could have been a prop they were so amazingly well worn. These amazing stripped vases had lost their luster. A ship made entirely out of K- NEX. A bright fluorescent ship sailed to wherever my mind wanders. There was much wonder, bi-focals from long ago and chairs tousled with age. Once that was all structured, the crates found a place to dwell in this fun house.
Then Beth completely smothered me then herself, with glitter, my arms acting with the light as if to say, “I sparkle, I shine with a magic that’s all mine.” French signs fresh from the spring play; flags caked in dust. Old Technology and Beth reading what the Hell is up with Peter Rabbit (Wow. Someone has a bone to pick with poor Peter? There was silk, purple cloth (a purple that makes you smile a little) and the intangible quality of understanding.
The one thing that every object in this amazing island had was potential. Everything was covered, soaked in potential. So as I exited with pipes, electric outlets, a library book (Life of Pi) and a stool, I realized how much wonder fills that room. I notice that loneliness does not exist in this room. I turn on the music box just one more time, the tune, a lovely gentle gasp of life. I tenderly wound the bottom, caressing the marble, wishing I owned such a charming device as this. I hope get to visit my children again soon.