I pick up the wooden jewelry box and throw it across the room with all my might. As it soars towards the wall the clasp comes undone and the hinges slowly give way to allow the lid to fly open. What look like thousands of little silver crosses, chains, and faces of Jesus fly out of the box full throttle like it couldn’t wait to expel them from inside. I can’t blame it. The whole box gives me the creeps. I didn’t know where it had come from. I didn’t remember ever seeing it in my parents’ room yet somehow we had come across it unpacking boxes from the old house. It was as if all the things hidden in that house were waiting to be brought out into the light. Once one secret got out they all followed as quickly as they could. When it rains it pours. I prefer to think Karma’s a bitch and what goes around comes around. I don’t actually believe in Karma or even that people get what they “deserve” but the idea is attractive when you’re holding a grudge the size of Texas. The hinges give way having been over-extended. The lid flies in one direction and the bottom in another as if unwilling to ever re-unite and hold what was once inside, not able to separate quickly enough.
The box collides with the wall creating an unimpressive thud. I hear the splintering of wood as the two pieces break into five. Maybe I should have picked a different wall. I was angry and breaking something was therapeutic but I wanted someone to hear. I wanted someone to come ask what the sound was and see me standing in a fit of hot angry tears with a dented wall and broken jewelry box. I wanted someone to ask what had happened. I would have shrugged them off and said nothing despite the evidence to the contrary. I also would have eventually given in to an insistence that this was not “nothing”. I would have acquiesced and said I was angry then accepted the sympathetic pat, hug or the shoulder to cry on. It would have meant more than I would ever let anybody know. Instead I was greeted by silence. My door remained closed. The rest of the house was asleep. I looked at my floor and saw everything that had been in the air now scattered across my carpet. It had nowhere else to go. There were many faces of Jesus with a crown of thorns looking up at me in agony. There were crosses and rings. There were chains I assumed were intended for the silver pieces now littering my floor. The box was broken beyond repair, and what was left behind were outdated jewelry pieces all mismatched and all some sort of Christian religious symbol. The fact that jewelry like this was made and worn was ridiculous to me. It was no wonder to me that so much of the world thought Christians were a kooky bunch. This stuff was creepy and over the top.
I look at the broken box and the pieces all over my floor. What a perfect metaphor it seemed to make of my life. Thrown into a wall and broken beyond repair spilling secrets everywhere. I continued to wonder where these strange pieces had been my whole life. I came to the conclusion they had been my dad’s and he had collected them in a fit of piousness feeling the need to have religious paraphernalia available to wear and throw in other’s faces at any given time. I decided he kept them in the box because these were no longer worthy to be shown in public. Maybe this box and these pieces were the keeper of his secrets now lying out in the open, fully exposed. As I picked up the pieces out of the carpet and made a pile I couldn’t help but imagine skeletons being brought out of a closet. Bone on bone on bone. Silver on silver on silver. If these were my dad’s secrets, there had to be another box somewhere. I had no intention of looking for it.