The box is not expensive, it’s priceless. The green outer edges are torn and rubbed off from wear. I have no idea how old it is. Perhaps we gave it to her when I was small. The goldtone lock is hard to latch but easy to reopen. There is no key any more. Inside the top is a green satin liner with a gold filigree design. It has one fold-out shelf divided up for smaller items like earrings or rings. The main basin is undivided, about five by eight inches. The hinges still work fine. The music box still works, still transports me back in time. Just now, the tapping of the keys set it off as if in response to that last sentence, and then I remember.
Mom and Daddy are going out. Mom always wears lipstick but she’s gotten her hair done too and I think she has mascara on. I love her perfume. I get it for her birthday every year. The box has midnight blue satin lining. What was it called? I hate my memory. Midnight Blue? Is that a perfume name?
She’s wearing a dress. She likes red. She likes green, blue, gold. Tonight it’s black velvet and gold. Satin rustles. I get to sit on her bed while she gets ready. She’s so excited. She likes going out. She’s smoking and she has a beer. I’m playing with her jewelry box. This is my favorite tune. “Some enchanted evening, you will see a stranger. You will see a stranger, across a crowded room.” I’m sure I didn’t know the words then but it is so pretty.
“Stop playing with that. You’re gonna break it.”
“No I won’t.”
I turn all the jewels over in my hand. This is what women get, I think, when you’re older, all this good stuff. It looks so expensive!
We get to have a baby-sitter tonight. I like babysitters. They’re a lot more fun.
I hope this makes mom happy.