Thursday, August 12, 2010

Souvenir


She keeps it in her dresser drawer. The top drawer, with her jewelry and stockings and souvenir matchbooks.

Sometimes, when she feels truly alone, she unseals the plastic bag and takes a long sniff. His scent is still there. Or so she tells herself.

It’s soothing. Comforting. It makes her feel like he’s still here.

She only saw him once. In Atlantic City. She’d been so young. He seemed so old.

She’d gone to the concert with her friend Beverly. Whatever happened to Beverly? Hope she didn’t marry a lout like Mike.

Mike. Ugh.

She risks another whiff. This time she touches it, just for a moment, letting her fingertips brush the silk.

He’d been so electric. Sure, in retrospect, he looked a little unhealthy, sometimes he even forgot the words of the songs, but he was so alive, so vital, so important.

And he’d whisked that scarf from around his neck and walked to the edge of the stage, and she caught his eye, and she began shaking, she couldn’t stand up, it was so hard, and he looked at her, and he touched her hand, and he gave her the scarf.

Beverly never spoke to her again.

She seals the bag, sticks it back in her drawer, safely tucked in the very back, on top of her 45 rpm record of “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”

“Thank you,” she says to no one. “Thankyouverymuch.”

6 comments:

ThomG said...

Neil, this is such a simple idea, a great idea for a piece, but your writing, your pace, brings this to life in such few words. I got this picture in my mind of this woman, middle-aged, going back to that one big moment in her life. Great stuff.

afullnessinbrevity said...

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion and this is a great insight into the mind of a fan.
Adam B @revhappiness

ganymeder said...

Beverly must have been so jealous! Too bad she'd lost a friend,but she mustn't have been a good one to part over something like that...

Wonderful piece of nostalgia. :)

Marisa Birns said...

You've led us down a path of senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell.

Quite masterful you are!

Leah Petersen said...

Oh, that's a great piece. Very nicely written. And I could feel her emotion over something so simple, such a brief slice of life.

Very nice.

peggywriter said...

I feel like you have so much compassion for all your characters, and you present them with such a gentle touch. The souveniers we keep are just placeholders for the internal ones.