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Wednesday December 11th 2010


The curve of each letter and the smudge of old ink hold a world of all history hidden in the past. Each line and each signature unique as a fingerprint tells intimate stories of mysteries in time. Events never shared and secrets kept so well they have almost been forgotten. Heroes never rewarded, criminals never caught, and lessons never learned can all be accessed with the key of time, if only we could find the lock to which it opened.

The rain pelting my head like little stone droplets seemed appropriate for the feeling of death that overtook me. I am old. Sitting here alone as usual, save a curious child passing by and pointing at me with horror, allows me to think about the days of my youth. The year was 1800. It was the turn of the century and it marked my 100th birthday. I enjoyed keeping to myself on my sleepy southern plantation, and felt no greater joy than living with Mrs. Vivian and watching every aspect of her storybook life. She had become a truly remarkable woman, a fact only I could appreciate fully, for I have watched her grow from a small toddler. I was the one who knew her best.
I had seen many things in my life already. Many were amazed with the stories I told of the 1700’s when British troops took me captive and experimented with my insides. My body became contaminated with words like rebellion and mutiny, most of which are gone by now except a faint MU which remains a scar, a reminder of painful times. When others asked how I could endure such tragedy, Mrs. Vivian simply replied that with love and a strong foundation I would outlive their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. As usual she was correct.
Sure enough the war ended. Flags once containing British royalty were ripped from my midst and replaced with new ones striped with red and white and a splash of blue. I felt a new sense of patriotism when newspapers were thrown at my feet with headlines reading “Washington for President!” and “Constitution Signed”, yet felt deepest sorrow when soldiers arrived at the front step telling Mrs. Vivian not to cry for her husband died a hero. I spent that year trying to comfort her and ignored the neglect I was feeling. I loved her, so it did not bother me that flowers no longer bloomed, a thin sheet of dust covered my clothes and an old eerie creek developed when the wind blew hard enough. It could have been for this very year that I felt no surprise when I found Mrs. Vivian asleep in her bed, too tired to resume the life that only gave her sorrow. That night I felt truly empty for the first time.

The rain has now stopped, like it always does and judging by the shadows formed on the pavement outside, tonight’s entry must come to an end. Who knows if I will resume tomorrow. Good night my dearest Vivian. I will forever love you.

The One Who Knows You Best

December 12th 2010

This morning I watched a car drive by. Blasting out of its windows was a smooth type of jazz I have not heard in quite a while. It reminded me of a time in the early 1920’s when a light at the end of the eternal tunnel of darkness after Vivian’s death seemed to be in sight. It came as quite a shock when an unfamiliar couple walked up my stairs and giggled at the creek which had grown from an eerie whisper to an outright cry of sheer pain. These people were strange.

The woman spun around in her shockingly short dress and instructed her husband where she envisioned everything would stand in my house. My house. They seemed to pay no mind to me; I was of no importance to them. I decided I didn’t mind being forgotten if it meant their five year old daughter Lucy would be running up my stairs in her little shiny black shoes. She brought me a new sense of life I hadn’t felt for over 100 years. I never understood why they gave Lucy the attic as a bedroom. I watched as she’d jump out of bed late at night after her parents tucked her in and played with her dolls on the floor. I became the one who knew her better than anyone. Her parents were two stories below, welcoming beautiful guests in ostentatious costume and snapping to the beat of clinking champagne glasses. This happened every Friday night.

Soon enough the parties came to an end. Lucy’s father came home one day, head hanging low, admitting to his wife that he had lost his job. At the time I didn’t know it was the beginning of the end. Soon enough December 1932, on perhaps the coldest night I could ever remember, Lucy put on her shiny shoes I loved so much. She continued to force her feet into these tiny shoes, now worn with a hole on the left heal, because her mother told her one night she must choose between the new stylish shoes and a slice of bread for dinner. Lucy cried that night and with her little shoes, with the worn out heal, she stepped out onto the snowy lawn with all her belongings fitting into a small suitcase. She looked back at me one last time as she passed the foreclosure sign at the end of the property. The Great Depression took on a whole new meaning.

The next car driving by blasting the more popular rap music reminded me it was no longer the 1920’s, Lucy’s grandchildren were probably getting married, and I was still alone. My darling Lucy, wherever you are, I still remember you and miss the joy you brought to an old friend.

Love always,

The One Who Knows You Best
December 13, 2010

I am getting tired now. I heard earlier this morning two kids making a bet to come into my house. I heard them say they think it is haunted. If only they knew I was not haunted at all. I sat here for many years, saw many joys and sorrows. I watched as the plantation surrounding me was portioned and sold off to form the speakeasies and jazz clubs of the future and sold off again, to create the newest subdivision for the American dream. Though I endured the loss of the loving Vivian and beautiful little Lucy, I also remember Michael, Vivian’s oldest son, taking his first step and wanting to clap when Lucy blew out her 7 year old birthday candles. Those were the days when I rarely realized I was only a house. These walls carry so many stories, and what legacy do I leave? To those kids now looking at the place where Lucy once played with her dolls, I am nothing but an old haunted house acting as a source of entertainment. It hardly seems fair. A house is what knows its inhabitants the very best. It contains the closed doors you act behind, knows exactly how tall you were every year when you marked your height on the kitchen door post, and was there to catch your little toddler every time they tripped and fell. My story is now coming to an end. Goodnight my loving Vivian, farewell my sweet Lucy and hello to the children who will forever find sport in ignoring the memories you both leave behind.
Love always,
The One Who Will Always Know You Best





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Seelix said...
May 12, 2010 at 12:13 am
I love it! It is very original, you did a fantastic job, I like that you are not 100% sure who the author is untill the last entery.
 
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