Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Purse

 "Thunk", my husband throws a worn brown change purse on the table, "I found this in the tire well" he says as he makes a rather horrified, face. I laugh, and stare down at it, and begin to notice the details. Its made to look like leather but it isn't, I can tell because I can see the frayed cloth edges in the parts worn off by fingers opening and closing the latch over the years. "Somebody used this purse their whole life" I say. "Can you imagine having one change purse for years on end? People used to do that."

 And then I'm off down a train of thought that leads me to who used it and what they bought with it and how the few coins it held were probably enough to buy supplies for a week. That's another reason why I love what I do, that moment where I travel forty, fifty, a hundred years back in time and try to imagine the life of the person who used the tarnished object I"m holding in my hands.

 She was a woman in her mid to late thirties, her skirt to the floor, pince nez half way down the bridge of her nose, holding her purse open desperately searching for the right change. "I'm so sorry Mr Cooper, I'm two cents short. You know how it is these days, everyone scrambling just to make ends meet." He gives her a knowing look, and motions to her to close the purse.

"You're not drinking your coffee?" He says to me.
 "Huh? Oh, I-I was just.., following links, in my head, (he looks at me confused) you know, remembering who had this etc, etc." I place the purse in my own bag and go back to reading the Straight.  Until the next one......

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