Saturday, July 28, 2012

the Spanish Vest Pocket Dictionary...

Quite the mouthful of a title for a book that fits in the back pocket of my jeans.

The book isn't actually my dictionary. I was cleaning out the drawers and cupboards at work today, and I came across the little book. It was hidden in a drawer full of old magazines and catalogues that we use for ordering toys and party supplies. The red-orange color and the long proclamation of the contents (I can use lots of words, too) were completely out of place. After examining it from a distance, I picked it up to take a closer look.

Memories cascaded into my mind the moment I opened the book. It was like a magic spell was cast when I touched it, bringing to life long forgotten happenings.

It was his book. He must have left it on the counter one day, and it just got swept into a drawer and forgotten. He used to thumb through it and find random Spanish words to learn their meanings. Sometimes he would read a word aloud and tell me to guess the meaning. I rarely got it right, but every once in while I'd surprise both of us.

Now The Spanish Vest Pocket Dictionary is sitting on my bedroom floor. It spent most of my shift in my back pocket, where it fits nicely. I've used it twice, too, to aid me in helping a customer who didn't speak English very well. The customer told me that he was looking for a "mantel." He brought up one of the plastic table covers, and he wanted to know what the translation of "mantel" is in English. It means "tablecloth."

I like things -- things as in those that remind me of people and places and events. Mostly things that remind me of people that I care about. Keeps them close, you know? Like having a friend you can take with you every day in your pocket.

It's funny what reminds me of people. It's funny how attached I get to objects -- even little objects, like a leaf given to me by a friend on a walk, or a pebble from a little girl, or movie ticket stubs from an outing. Add a book to the list of treasures -- at least until I can return it to its proper owner.

Thanks, vest pocket dictionary. Thanks for the memories, and thanks for helping me out today.

1 comment:

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