To: The Boss
Date: January 7
Hilda’s just a mystery. A humorous one, at that.
Groundhog’s a book collector. His collection just arrived. He can hardly move for the weight of all the books.
Loading an ancient truck full of books is like lowering a corpse in its coffin and closing the lid. All these past accomplishments, authors’ dusty attempts to pin down a mote of immortality, a reader’s string of inquiries, vaguely recalls moments of the dream states beyond inaction. Admiration and criticism. “You’re not active,” he tells himself, with a twinge of guilt.
He says his favorite aunt is piggish and constantly sniffling. She’s a hoarder. Her attic is stuffed. Once, with his father, he had gone to retrieve a family chest. Her attic was full of coffins. He opened one: old dusty books and broken eyeglasses. Another was crammed with rags. Still another, sheets, quilts, thin and worn blankets. One suffocated under its load of memories. Broken picture frames, mattresses, hairs, suitcases with broken latches that would not open, ancient toys, atlases, maps, cookbooks, a 1927 globe, dishes, pots, Christmas decorations, pine cones, birthday cards, knapsacks. Enough stuff to set up two separate households. His aunt resents anyone who tries taking anything away. This aunt is one unhappy woman, trying to collect memories, a history of no value. A junkyard is not a Rembrandt. I don’t see any antiques of value anywhere in this.
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