Tuesday, January 3, 2012


you fondle each jewel before you pick up the pen containing archival ink. you sigh. you once were the reigning queen of movieland but today you sit on a velvet settee in front of an antique writing table and slowly flex your arm and fingers preparing to make another label. a maid could easily do this for you but you resist the idea.

the truth is you like writing the little tags. your handwriting is exquisite and you're glad that the schoolgirl years of laboriously copying the palmer method of penmanship—the flourishes, embellishments, ornamental details—have finally come in handy.

one diamond tiara. tiffany, 1973.

one diamond choker. bulgari, 1959.

one sapphire ring. cartier, 1967.

one strand of opera pearls. cartier, 1985.

and on and on, labels for all the pieces of jewelry you have acquired over the years.

with your insatiable thirst for jewels you are like a pirate sailing the seven seas in search of more booty. how many decades worth of treasure have you hidden away in chests and boxes, one or two pieces in each, each adorned with its own meticulously handwritten card?

you stop working on a 2010 label. a little smile sparkles on your lips. you are thinking about when you will be handed your last script—the script for life's final role—when you must lie still as dirt in peaceful repose in your casket and you are pleased when you imagine your collection of jewels and how they will also lie peacefully in theirs.


Monica Devine said...

So simple and beautiful and poetic, the peaceful repose. I enjoy your writing.

BavarianSojourn said...

Beautiful writing! Completely reminded me of a case we were given when my husband's grandmother died. It was full of (mostly) costume jewellery, but I spent a good few hours looking through it all and wondering what the story was behind each piece! Emma :)