jewelery box by ingridfnl

28 Mar

“Honey,” he says, “It’s for you.” He has that school-boy smile on his face and he’s holding his most recent offer towards me. This time, it’s a jewelery box… of sorts.

I take it from him and try to process my frustration into a facial expression that is supportive. “Oh Harvey. Look at that! It’s… it’s remarkable.”

“I know, right? I thought after all of the book shelves and tables, I’d try something personal, for you,” he replies. He pats the top of the small box with that look of unwavering hope in his eyes.

“Well, you surely challenged yourself,” I reply. I remember my mother’s advice. It’s just a phase, dear. Your father went through the same thing. Just indulge him a little. So I say, “Let’s take a closer look.”

“You really like it?” he asks as I set it on the table.

To my surprise, it sits evenly, enough. “I love that you love making it, Harv. That’s enough for me.” I am proud of myself. Of rallying beside my husband in this most recent endeavor, and remembering, I turn to him and hug him. “Thank you.”

“I know I still need to hone my craft, but I’m … I’m self taught.”

“I know, sweetie,” I open the top of the box and give him my very best supportive smile. I know that I am being condescending. I don’t know how else to feel. He is a terrible carpenter. God bless him for all of his love of this new-found hobby I am growing tired of furniture that leans and of his lack of precision. I lift off the lid and see that he has glued red velvet to the inside of the box. It is still wet at the edges and the fabric swirls unevenly along the inside of the box. Inside the box does not look that bad, or won’t when the glue is dry.

“Oh look, a velvet lining,” I say.

“I thought you’d like that. I know you like red. That way,” he explains,” your jewelery won’t get scratched on the sides.”

“Yes,” I reply. I inspect the box further. He has attempted to carve small roses on the outside of the box. They are crude and uneven. The surface of the box is gouged with whatever tool he used, but it is smooth since Harvey loves to use sandpaper. Lord. He loves sandpaper.

“Here’s the thing, Susan,” he says.

I am dreading this moment. From that first bedside table that groans whenever I place so much as a paperback on it, down to the angled bookshelves in the hall, I sensed that this … this passion was something to be reckoned with.

“You know Bernard?” he continues.

“Bernard? The gallery owner?”

“Yes. Well, he said that my work has a naïve intensity and potential.”

I laugh. Sincerely this time, “Did he?”

“Yeah. Well he said that he’d sell some of my ‘pieces’ for me,” Harvey pronounces proudly. “He says that there’s a market for them. That they are more than just regular furniture and that recently buyers are looking for something that combines ‘art’ with ‘function’.”

“Heavy on the art part then,” I say glancing up at him to see if he really understands what I mean.

“Well maybe, but anyway, I was thinking I could do… more of this,” he replies, not making eye contact.

“Bernard says he thinks he could sell some?” I repeat. “For how much?” I ask.

“I’m not quite sure, but you’re only young once,” he replies. He runs his hands through his already wild hair and grins at me. “I just might do it.”

I pause. “Well I guess young is how you feel. What are you saying Harvey?” I am attempting to fit the lid back on the box. He takes it from me turns it 90 degrees and it falls into place.

“I’m saying, Susan,” he says, his voice now the authoritative one I know from before, “I’m saying I think I’m going to quit my job. Do this full time.” He looks defiantly in my eyes, unwavering.

“Oh Harvey,” I reply as I throw myself into his arms. He doesn’t hug back. I start crying quietly and whisper into his shoulder, “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”


One Response to “jewelery box by ingridfnl”

  1. jmforceton March 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Nicely done Ingrid, seamless and no glue lines. Interesting how sandpaper can can affect you, depending on POV. So that’s why my wife cried when I signed-up for a writing class!

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