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The other side of the table: Fall 2002

There is a skeleton in my closet. This isn’t a metaphor; there really is a skeleton in my closet. When he was new he had all his parts joined together by wires and stood bolt upright on a shiny, four wheeled, stainless steel stand. He looked good in a Stetson.


September 15, 2009
By Anne E. Wilson

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There is a skeleton in my closet. This isn’t a metaphor; there really is a skeleton in my closet. When he was new he had all his parts joined together by wires and stood bolt upright on a shiny, four wheeled, stainless steel stand. He looked good in a Stetson. He was nick-named ‘Hector’ and he is known affectionately as Hector even now, although his stand is in the garage, his skull is on the desk, his torso is in the closet and his right arm and left leg are on the kitchen table.

I would like to explain why bits of Hector are on the kitchen table. I bought a new garden shovel and wheel barrow at Canadian Tire. A very nice young man carried my purchases to the car and loaded them into my trunk.

As I was thanking him he was running, backwards from my car and tripping over his feet in his haste to return to work. He was looking at me like I was a demon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “Gee,” I thought, “I wonder if I was supposed to tip him?”

When I got home I opened the trunk and pulled out my new shovel. I carelessly brushed aside a few metacarpals and a femur before removing the wheelbarrow.

The next day I was going to pick up some garden soil.  I was helped by a lovely Irish gent who gave me great advice about my roses. I backed the car up to the bags of earth and popped the trunk. In the side-view mirror I noticed a look of shock cross the garden-man’s face and I suddenly remembered Hector’s bits in the trunk. 

I called out “Don’t worry, they look real, but they are just plastic.” My reassurance didn’t seem to help. He scampered off without even closing my trunk. I shut the trunk and drove home, all the while envisioning a police officer stopping me on the way. Luckily, I made it home without an officer saying “What’s that you’ve got in your trunk Ma’am?” I opened the trunk to unload my new soil and next to Hector’s bones I found a shoe box full of zip-lock bags containing clear-white crystals.

Well, after a day of heavy gardening I took Hector’s bones and put them on the kitchen table. I removed one of the zip lock bags of Epsom salts from the trunk and emptied it into a hot bath.

While soaking away the aches in my muscles I made a note of an important piece of life information that mom never taught me. Before allowing a stranger to look in your trunk remove any items that resemble human remains or crack cocaine.


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