Sunday, June 6, 2010


A Smell of Vetiver

An old cedar chest stands open in a room in an old Victorian house. It could be in the attic, but there is not the thick layer of dust that is seen in most attics. It is a dark room, but there are gas lamps burning, adding a golden glow to the area surrounding the open chest. On the walls hang heavy red velvet drapes with silky twisted fringe of the same shade of rich red on the edges of the drapes. Only the drapes against the wall are visible in the light of the lamps, no wallboard is visible. The chest, much like an old steamer trunk with an open arched top and metal fittings along the edges, sits on an old braided rug, in shades of red faded to pinks. It too is clean, not covered in dust.

In the trunk are articles of clothing, tenderly folded and put away. On the top of the clothing, wrapped in fragile paper is an old dress, possibly a wedding dress, kind of ecru in color, not white, but not yellowed with age. It is covered entirely in lace and hand beading, the beads sparkle in the soft light of the lamps.

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