austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

It must have been the best line from me ever

While bunny_hugger was putting away the Christmas wrapping --- itself a saga you'll be stunned to know happened --- she found an old mailing tube she'd always assumed had ribbon in it. Not so. Tucked inside and rolled up tight was a travel poster advertising Boblo Island, Detroit's lost amusement park. She asked if it was a gift I'd given her, but to the best of my recollection I hadn't, even though it was the sort of thing I might.

The postmark gives a teasing hint: it's dated October of 2001, and the mailing label makes it out to her then-husband. It's from what appears to be one of those companies that deals in old advertising signs, vintage or reprints. The time would have made it well-suited to be a birthday present, bought and squirreled away, for her; or it would have been a slightly ahead-of-time purchase of a good Christmas present. She isn't sure whether she received it or not, though. It's possible that her starter husband received it, put the mailing tube off to the side where it wouldn't attract attention, and then forgot about it. At some point the tube was assimilated into the collective of wrapping paper stuff and it wasn't looked at seriously since.

And so it's become a paleo-gift, a note of warm feelings from a relationship that's since died, a fossilized note of happiness. The history of all things bind our consciousness; this ties up moments of her life in a very peculiar way.

Trivia: The Sault Saint Marie canal, opened on the 31st of May, 1855, was obligated by federal law to charge a four cents per ton as toll until the construction costs were covered. Source: Michigan: A History of the Great Lakes State, Bruce A Rubenstein, Lawrence E Ziewacz.

Currently Reading: The Man They Wouldn't Let Die, Alexander Dorozynski.


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