There are two new things of relevance. First is a blue slip, belonging to my grandmother, which I unearthed from a bag of other things of hers in a closet. (Also in the bag: letters and cards I sent her, a sweater of hers which used to be mine.) I kept the slip, and threw away everything else. The slip is narrow and stiff, and even though I aspire to be the kind of person who’s daring enough to wear it as a skirt, I never will. It’s strange that I’m keeping it, the memories that it carries are the least pungent.
The second thing is a set of wooden bookends in the shape of ducks. Mallards, I think, but really, I don’t know ducks. My uncle sent them to me after I replied yes to his email: “Your aunt and I are doing some cleaning and we found these bookends. I bought them for your mother years ago at Johnson’s Bookstore. Now that you have your own place, would you want them?”
I remember these bookends from our house- heavy, but oddly slippery on the bottom. They probably can’t be trusted to support too many books. They’re kitschy. When I said yes to them, I was thinking about my grandmother telling me that one day, when I had a house, I could put all the antiques she collected and would leave me in it. I couldn’t imagine owning a house and filling it with so many things that were so beautiful and so cumbersome. But these are just bookends.