First attempt at a short story. That box held a lot more than just my material trinkets.
|When all of us kids were younger, Pop - my father - smoked white owl cigars by the box. I don't know how I acquired it, but I had one of those boxes when I was still a single digit in age. A thumbtack was the lock for my little box which held all of my valuables as a boy.
It contained all of my trinkets, baubles, sparkling stones, and shiny rocks. As well as a few trifle doodads and gizmos. It also had a broken Hot Wheels watch that I had over wound and seized up. I also liked the odor of tobacco that was emitted every time I opened up the lid.
But my little cigar box held a lot more than just my material trinkets. It held a lot of promise and dreams I made to myself. I was going to marry a wealthy, good-looking blonde. She would have piles of cash to travel the world and fly wherever we wanted to go. Monte Carlo for lunch, Milan for shopping, then back to Los Angeles for supper. I was going to be a self-made millionaire soon after marrying Miss right, owning my own business in wind and solar power. That box held some powerful dreams telling me I was going to do some marvelous things when I got older. One day I would have a statue of myself for something grand.
Not until recently, I wondered what happened to that little cigar box? I was restless in my sleep, then awakened as though a clap of thunder peeled across the room! Oh yeah, Mother made me throw the box away because it was torn and shabby. Okay, it was dilapidated! The thumbtack was missing, and worst of all, the lid was unhinged and being held on by old yellow masking tape.
But why was I waking up in the middle of the night from a memory of so long ago? After pausing a few minutes and sitting up in bed. Came the realization that all my dreams had been unhinged and my life was so much different than what I had expected. My dreams were lost because they weren't held in that box.
All of those promises I had made to myself. All of the ambitions and drive to give me a sense of accomplishment, now seemed to fade away. What could I have done differently"? "What would work now?" Perhaps a shoe box?
Then telling myself it wouldn't be the same. The thumbtack was such a cool "lock". A shoe box was just a plain lid with a musty smell. Besides, I wanted that tobacco smell! What else could send my imagination reeling? Another cigar box! That's it! I'll just get another one from Pop. But by now, Pop didn't smoke as often as before. He bought King Edward and White Owls in little packages of 5 instead of the big boxes like before. My younger brother had a William Penn box he used. It didn't feel right to barter some of my fine glossy stones for a new box. I was selfish with my collection. I didn't want to lose anything! I didn't want to barter for a new box, I wanted to keep all of my loot!
I told myself I didn't need a box to hold my dreams and aspirations. It was high time to grow up! Hold people close to your heart, not material things that don't matter. But I was kidding myself.
People will and would hurt me, sometimes without even knowing it. Sometimes and more scary is, they would do it deliberately! As callous as a hand slapping one's face, I brought myself back to reality. One reason I liked a big family is because they would be the first to razz me about any ornery times I may have indulged in. But this will be the day I knew it was time to grow up and throw away the taped up little cigar box. I don't think I'll ever truly grow up. Older yes, it's inevitable of course, but grow up? Highly unlikely.
Still there are some times when I want to go back for just a day, or possibly a week during the summer. To get a new perspective. To be young and carefree of life's problems and challenges we all have to face. Jumping in mud puddles, or looking for crawdads. Playing with our metal trucks in the dirt and finding new rocks or stones to add to my collection. Back when life, and the times, were so much simpler. The hurdles we must overcome that seem like a high jump bar at times! If you don't at least try to jump, you'll never pass the next one. If you tell yourself you can't, you are certainly correct. But just try, try to convince yourself that something better is yet to come.
The terrific smell dissipated in the little cigar box. That was a big reason for throwing it away. I was growing up, and possibly maturing. But not all those dreams were lost. I married a wonderful woman, no she wasn't blonde or wealthy. She is beautiful in many other ways besides her looks. I never got rich monetarily, but have 4 great kids that we are very proud of. Two handsome sons that are a little ornery. (Just like their mother) haha. Two beautiful daughters that resemble their mother in beauty and brains. Our first grandchild is on the way. Granted, not everyone can have a statue of themselves, most just get a tombstone.
Many blessings have been bestowed on our family. So who knows what memories are left to be made, and all the hurdles we have yet to overcome.