pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: The last one

01 January 2017

The last one

Tree detail
1 January 2017

As a toddler, the son was particularly taken with trains. The December that he was nearly 2, I found a glass train garland at Macy's that I knew he'd like. I carefully unhooked it from the display tree as one was supposed to do, and I cradled it in my palms as I continued to peruse the trees for any other likely ornaments. While I looked, happily enjoying the festive display, another shopper, a somewhat older woman, approached me.

"That's the last one," she said to me. I looked at her, perplexed. She pointed to the garland in my hands.

"Oh," I said, not sure why she was telling me this.

More forcefully, she repeated, "It's the last one."

"I see," I answered, and moved toward the register to make my purchase.

Decades later, I'm still bemused by that conversation. I can only guess that she expected me to hand the garland over. Or something. Whatever the case, when the kids unpack the ornaments every year, they dangle the trains in front of me and announce, "It's the last one."

Which, I suppose, is how weird little stories pass into family lore.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone6.
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