The little girl I used to be is lost in my basement.
I went down there yesterday looking for a book. I found these pieces of that little girl, scattered in cardboard boxes, plastic storage boxes, and a trunk:
a naked, dirty baby doll.
a plastic circus elephant coin bank; you put the penny in his trunk, pull his tail, and he throws the penny into his back.
her first pair of prescription eyeglasses.
a broken souvenir of the Empire State Building, given to her by her first “boyfriend”; he was 5, she was 4. His mother was her babysitter. He went to New York on a vacation and brought her back the souvenir.
clothes that she made for herself when she was 10 or 11: a skirt, a blouse, shorts, a dress.
one of her favorite sweatshirts: there are two sets of footprints facing each other. One set has 6 toes on each foot. The other set says, “I like you. You’re different!”
her only ballet costume and black ballet shoes.
a list of students from her fourth grade class: Chris F, Robby R, Regina H, Tammy M. Contrary Goddess is on that list too.
“Teaching Little Fingers to Play”, “My Recital Book”, “My First Hymn Book”: all circa 1965.
school books: Virginia History and Geography, Spelling Correctly, Journey Through the New World.
a stuffed black bear, souvenir from her trip to the Smokey Mountains when she was 9.
Evening in Paris, purchased at the Ben Franklin on Front Street.
Avon bottles in cartoon character shapes, that used to contain shampoo.
vinyl records: 45s, LPs of Donny Osmond, The Jackson 5.
a matching scarf, hat and mitten set, green and gold striped.
a single blue mitten that she knit herself.
her girl scout handbook.
a heart-shaped pink box that began its life as a Valentine candy container. Now it holds broken costume jewelry, an old wallet, string, various other junky broken things. I think her daddy gave her the candy, but I’m not sure.
Who is this girl, and why is she in pieces in my basement?
I cried for her. Hard. For hours.
And I can’t seem to stop.