Our Town – December 3, 2015

The Soupster hears a theory about the former owners of discarded items.

The Soupster hears a theory about the former owners of discarded items.

Rosemarie wouldn’t have ever noticed the famous last name printed on the nametag, if Timmy’s hadn’t barfed all over his sleeping bag during a sleepover. Four kids sleeping on the floor of Timmy’s room. Timmy’s three friends took well to the macaroni and cheese casserole she had served them before the ice cream cake at dinner. Despite the menu being two of Timmy’s favorites, he hadn’t done as well keeping his mac and cheese and cake to himself once things got too rambunctious upstairs. But that’s probably all anyone wants to know about that.

The next morning after the boys had gone home, Rosemarie felt sanguine about Timmy’s accident, thinking that’s just what old sleeping bags obtained at garage sales were meant for – occasional laundering in a lot of soap and hot water. And that’s just the treatment the bag got.

Rosemarie removed a clean and fresh-smelling sleeping bag from her clothes dryer, located in the corner of her kitchen. The tumbling had turned the bag outside out. And then she saw the label bearing the name of one of Our Town’s most famous sons – a politician now, but a pro baseball draft pick in the years before that.

The sleeping bag must have been owned by that august individual as a child. Back when he was Timmy’s age – even though it was hard to believe the now-grown up and oversized famous former owner had ever fit in the smallish bag.

Rosemarie thought of all the things she had discarded, sold at garage sales or donated to the thrift store. Garments and household items that then rotated through how many Our Town families before finally coming to rest. How many spirits intermingling? Did these items retain any of their former owners? Does anything transfer to the new owner?

The phone rang. “Hi, Rosemarie!” It was the Soupster. “Want to go to some garage sales? Find some bargains?”

So, Rosemarie told the Soupster her theory that discarded items may carry with them some of the spirit of their previous owners. She watched a light snowfall through the kitchen window and waited for an answer.

“You know, I’m a fan of crazy theories, but this is a stretch,” the Soupster judged.

They chatted, but Rosemarie was still distracted. “Well, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to leave you alone right now, but I better get out to the sales before all the good stuff is gone.”

“I’ll be fine,” Rosemarie chuckled. “Happy hunting!”

Timmy came in next, bounding into the kitchen and grabbing a banana even before he stopped moving. “No wonder you’re hungry,” Rosemarie said. “You didn’t keep down any of your dinner.”

“Sorry, Mom,” said Timmy.

“S’ok,” said Rosemarie.

Timmy noticed his rejuvenated sleeping bag. “Oh, Mom, you got it so nice and clean.” He rubbed the bag to his face and took a deep appreciative sniff.

“Hey, Mom,” he said, without a pause, “My class is having elections next week and I was thinking of running for class officer.”

“That’s great,” Rosemarie said.

But Timmy was looking at the snowfall outside. “I wish it was spring,” he said. “I can’t wait to play baseball again.”


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