Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wish Book

Around this time of year, when I was about 10, I remember sitting in class at my new school and seeing two fellow students excitedly passing a paper back and forth and putting check marks on it. They were discussing the things that they wanted for Christmas that year. The paper they were passing was a cheaply printed circular from Family Dollar. Filled with off-brand merchandise and garish in color, the newsprint crinkled in their busy hands. I watched the excitement in their eyes and heard it in their voices as they discussed all the offerings to be had. I remember the sad faces of malformed reindeer make of flocked plastic and the giant electric snowmen to be placed in the yard, the molded dolls- of similar size if not exactly Barbie, the "GIANT CHRISTMAS STOCKING-OVER 4 FEET LONG!!" full of hard candy and plastic toys easily broken and most especially I remember the small chairs made of foam and fake fur with eyes and a smile.

I went home that day and hid the dog-eared Wish Book under a sofa, careful not to open it and reveal the pages inside. I went to my room and I cried, without knowing exactly why.


jason said...

a poignant memory there.

Elizabeth said...

This piece captures so much of childhood perfectly - the yearning and mystery of it. Beautiful and, as Jason said, poignant.