Saturday, January 07, 2006

Old money.

Always large, double. The doors had weight, big- heavy weight as they were pulled open. And always both doors opened, never just the one.
Dark marble foyer. Very droll, awful colored paintings on oak panelled walls. of people I never knew, nor did the owners know.
Large oak round table, always. Huge, beautiful bunches of fresh flowers in season.
Velvet. deep blue blood red, rectangle rugs. gold tassels. Heavy framed mirrors.
Lizard skin, patten, leather in all manner, lots of leather, coats, shoes and purses. Grandfather clock ticking, tocking.
Smell, smell the linger of a good cigar recently indulged. perfume, perfume so light I wonder was it the flowers?
Another set, double doors. wrought iron. stained glass.
Perfect blonde hair. both men and women. blue or green eyes.
Tall. thin. standing perfect. no slouch. no bones sticking out. skeletons hung in position by fish line I imagined. not moving.
giggles. awkward and confident, small conversations.
Mascara, just enough.
pale skin. light light pink rouge.
blue, red, black wool and silk. finest. men and women. carpets and rugs.
Silver serving tray. Small gilded tables. smaller uncomfortable chairs, never to be sat in.
Housekeeper. bent. sweeping the rooms with a silver serving tray.
Animal heads. Fur. Glass eyes. both on people and walls.
Fire and stone.
Taffy hook.
Usually a taffy hook would be found in any one of the kitchens in any of these homes. I sought out the taffy hook. I don't know why to this day. I heard on more than one whisper of a mother's lips "she's a bit odd", they were right. That is odd. Maybe because the taffy hook made the house real. Oh I wish I had a digital camera in those days. or. any camera. Taffy hooks in all sizes and bits of art in themselves. smooth copper, bright in spots (the place most used) and dull in others.
A tradional January gathering of my friends and I.
At any one of our homes (about 10 of them or so) during the cold, fridged, dirty month of January.
Compare. no, not bruises, fort and war stories.
gifts. grades.
I had wonderful fort, tree climbing and war stories. I had found an old farmhouse on my travels, cracked, ruined and ready to fall if only I blew on it. I counted with large giant steps, one, two, three, from the back, kitchen door. You see. I was looking for the dump. Where the household dumped their garbage. Amazing treasure found there. Old bottles, containers, even jewls. I would sit, digging, discovering, holding the object and dream about who, why, what were they like.
If it weren't for the thick stockings I wore, the purple, green and black bruises I had on several parts of my legs were really something.
An older sister, an engagement to be silly about, of course happened on Christmas past. A brother off to University or worse (what I imagined). An ill family member. (none of them mine, I was never with my family and to be clear, I'm not 10 here, I'm in my late teens and no longer at home)
Many of us sneaking a bit of booze in the others drink. That was about the worst of it.
It's no wonder I suffered badly from panic in my 20's and twinges of it in my 40's.
"My, you do turn out when you want to dear", the mother, granmum, old aunt, old friend...just old of the friend and friends I was visiting. I would think of that person's daughter or son, the position that I saw them in when they were slumming it at one house party or another that we cruised for in our respective cars.
A slight kick on the ankle from some awful boy who thought he was a man, whispering in my ear that he could still beat me in a horse race and wanna go on Sunday?
To hot.
To sticky.
To stuffy.
Made my excuses, appropriate thanks you's, regards from family and found my way to fresh air. I was always without family. by myself.
My way to the world.
I laid eyes on my first black person in the flesh at the age of 14.
Sure I'd seen them in magazines, National Geographic and such.
I was struck. then ashamed I was struck. I had lived a sheltered life. but. I have secrets.
they are mine. someday I will tell. not now. for now they stay in the attic.
I'm so thankful.
I might be in a shithole right now. Have been in a few shitholes in fact.
All I have to do is look back, look back in time, think of the other shithole I'd be in if it weren't for this one.
The last of that old money has been trying to reach me.
She means well. I know. She is doing what she is supposed to do. I know that too.
It makes me want to cry.
Who wants to play? I do. But I don't want to play THAT game anymore.
good god why? just go away.
I wish it would, go away.
I don't want to be there.
I don't want to be reminded. It wasn't my choosing, those things, those ways, those people.
I've become a snob.
The last laugh is...on me.
(It was this picture that brought all of that up. What is the picture of? I haven't a clue.)

Comments on "Old money."


Anonymous Leemer said ... (8:58 PM) : 

Wow... You were right. That IS eerie that we posted similar (yet not, yet still so) blogs on the same day, both brought on by something triggering a memory.

And what the Hell is a taffy hook?


Blogger Xxaatm said ... (9:19 PM) : 

Yep. Very weird buddy. My first full-blown panic attack was when I was 14. Right around the time I saw a black person for the first time, in the flesh. So. I'm old hat at that, if you are ever looking for an old hat.

I was just about to do a p.s., about a taffy hook.
The farmhouse, the one that was ready to fall, the taffy hook was still in place. I was tempted. but. I left it to the ghosts. It was years later that I began watching some teevee show, where people would buy things from an anitque shop that would end up haunting them in some fashion. Made me shudder.

I've posted a new pic on my blog so you can see what I mean. The picture is of a common hook and frankly, dosen't look like it could hold up to what the women I knew would pull on it. Anyway, you'll get the idea.


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