What’s the most precious thing you have? Asks a friend. If there’s a fire, what are you going to take out of home with you? Given that all people and dogs and fish are out, of course.
Don't think too long. Remember, there's a fire.
I’d first take the photos. My babies, sepia-tinted me as a baby myself, of friend-filled manic years, of getting married (if only to prove I once had a 24 inch waist) – these are memories – can’t let them burn.
Then to the kitchen to take the recipe books full of Ma’s hand-written recipes that no one else on the planet can make… ooops, kitchen’s full of smoke – oh that’s ok – I left the fried egg still frying. While here, must take Nik’s sipper – cos without it, he’ll never drink a drop again (Alcoholic Anonymous’ pledge).
Can’t take something of Nik’s and not Neel’s. Will have World War 3. OK, take Neel’s light shoes with Xoxo masters on them. And his glow-in-the-dark pig. Oh, there’s his birthday drawing for his Dad – a dinosaur eating up someone (hopefully not his Dad) – must take that.
The antique grandfather clock, the wedding portrait of my parents (which makes everyone ask how 2 good looking people produced someone like me J ) , the sword we got from Venice, the hand-made quilt.
My jewellery? Or will the fire melt it to one solid lump of gold, which I can use to fill my teeth. Our leather-bound family bible. S’s bible – the Best of Rolling Stones. Our collection of Just William books.
MY LEVIS JEANS.. nothing else makes my legs look so long…
Fire all over the house now !
Box full of papers? Proof of birth, proof of marriage, proof of graduation….S’s 180 proofs?
Too much to take, too little time.
And then I hear the little voice that says : Leave it all behind. You’ll go, as you entered. Without anything.