Friday, May 21, 2010

An Antiquarian Treasure: Opened

Plastered with colorful Japanese stamps, and taped more tha King Tut's mummy, I began to whittle away at the invulnerable plastic. Minutes passed, and finally with much wheezing, and much ripping, the envelope gave up its contents - another wrapped layer. That was a bit easier, the heavy corrugated plied away from the next obstacle, a taped plastic bag!

At last, I slid the precious cargo out, and beheld the buff colored, somewaht parchment-textured cover resembling in a small fashion a chapbook. Inside, the reduced-sized, cream-colored paper was pristine in look, but bizarrely odiferous. I sniffed, thought, sniffed again, wondered, and then it struck me.

It wasn't cigarette smoke, but more likely a cross between cigar and pipe tobacco. The pages were unharmed - in fact they looked barely used, turned, read, or otherwise examined. But they had absorbed years of smoke.

I'm sure the smell will fad with time, but as a non-smoker, I'm especially compelled by the striking smeel of tobacco.

My parents smoked, chain smoked on may occassions. My grandmother did snuff. She and her husband raised tobacco for decades. I cringed, and nearly screamed, at my first sight of a big, thick, prickly, nub-legged, green tobacco worm. But I never smoked.

Well, now that the item slid forth on the evening of 28 April 2010, what next?

More tomorrow.

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