• Black Leather Jacket
The Music Box
When he was a university student, my father spent a year in Paris. He learned French and how to taste wines and savor blue cheese. He sent my mother a golden makeup compact, a small music box inscribed with the phrase “no matter how far from my eyes, you’re always close to my heart.” I used to fish the compact out of the drawer with sewing notions where time had eventually relegated it, darkened with age. I’d open it and smell the remains of the pink powder, turning the key so as to hear the melody tinkle. This morning I was in the gym’s locker, struggling with loneliness once again. A girl in her early twenties dialed impatiently on the public phone. A lover, I thought, or a job. She finally reached her dad and sat down to chat with him, laughing and involved. They talked as I dressed, blow-dried my hair and got ready to go. I never had a conversation like that with my father. So many years have passed, so much experience, and I still yearn for the fragrant music box.