Celluloid Cow

Once again, I began this blog to remember the Harveys, but it seems to have turned into something more. The more I remember it seems, the more I remember.

I was thinking yesterday of something that I bought at World of Mirth when I worked there, back when it was still upstairs from Exile. I’ve already talked about this, but I worked for store credit. At the time, I needed furniture, and it worked out well for me anyway because every time I walked in there I wanted to buy up half the store.

Red mexican candles in huge glass containers that were supposed to bring you love if you burned them long enough, quirky mexican postcards and greeting cards. Stacks of vintage postcards. Winkies…..those little pictures that moved if you held them a certain way. Kathryn began my collection of winkies that I still try to add on to when I find them. A tiny little man strums a guitar, and in another a girl picks up a phone while her friends in the background dance the “frug” when you flick your wrist ever so slightly up and down. I still have these, I turned them into refrigerator magnets, even though they couldn’t really hold up as much as a piece of tissue paper.

At one point I bought a celluloid cow. It lived under her counter for the longest time. No one wanted this small item, probably because it had been damaged, a small rip up one side. It was so thin, so fragile and brittle. Celluloid was what they made the first plastics from, and it didn’t hold up – remember all those old films that would burn at the drop of a hat? This cow looked like it would do that if you breathed on it, just burst into flames right there like a magic trick.

I wanted it though – I couldn’t believe something made of celluloid had lasted so long, plus I collect bulls, always have. Yeah, it was a cow, but it had enough of that toughness, that stubborness that it could pass. It had lasted all these years despite being created out of some gossimer-thin ancestor of plastic, right?

And I bought it, and set it on a shelf———–somewhere. Today I have NO IDEA where this bull is. I’ve looked and looked, but nothing. It’s like I put it in such a special place, so it wouldn’t get damaged further, so that it would survive, and now I can’t find it. It’s somewhere safe though, I’m sure of it. I think Kathryn would like that, that my collectible, my fragile bull (oxymoron?) is somewhere so safe as to be nowhere. If you can’t find the celluloid bull, does it still exist? Or did it go up in flames when you weren’t looking?

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