First, the golden stash.
There is a bench next to my window, inside my flat. Every second tuesday morning, I sit on it having my tea waiting.
I wait for the delivery guy from ATS who brings new additions to my bi weekly stash. So I sit and look at the time on my phone every now and then. I've religiously kept this tradition for the past four years.
It began out of curiosity. You see, my favourite of my two grandmothers had just passed on and around a month later, my dad called me into his study. "I have fascinating news for you young lady" he said. "Your grandma wanted you to have this box. The rest of the stuff she said to give it to you on your thirtieth."
I grabbed the box and shot out the door without saying a word. Once in my room I quickly reached for my hairpin and opened it.
Wrapped in tissues, it was a few necklaces, some hair clips, earings and a couple of bangles. After reading the letter that my grandma had wrote me. I cried for a while and decided to try them on one by one.
The last one that I tried, it was a gold herringbone chain. In that moment, I was in love. Not just with jewellery but with the idea of having actual gold rather than than the "white gold" I always got from my dad who no matter how many protests he insisted it was for "security reasons". Like, I was a tom boy who wore cut out jeans and had frizzy hair, who in the world would rob me.
I remembered the design name because years before, I was around 8 when I spent a few weekends in my grandad's shop. He was a jeweller who prefered to be called a "metal worker."
There, I would run up and down his shop, picking out necklaces that I liked and asking him what they were called. I learnt then, from him the different types of designs. I learnt about the cuban, the fugaro, the box chain and most of all my favourite, the herringbone.
I would wonder about the people who would go on to wear them. Would they love the jewellery? Were they happy? Did they have a family? Did they know who had made their pretty necklaces? His name? That he was my grandad? That he was always working?
I wore my favourite of them all to my graduation, to my first ever job and to my first real job. I wore it on my first proper date with my boyfriend and to my nephew's christening.
So what is it about that specific necklace? It's the way it gleams, the almost invisible but there look. The way it sits on my neck as if it was always meant to be there. Oh it's gold.
The bar collection.
The first gold bar I ever owned. I didn't buy it per se. It was a 100grams and it came from my boss. As to why that even happened, I would like to refer the reader to the following article. I will probably publish it later today. I will title it "Ethics, minus the actual ethics." So please, look out for that.
The second bar of gold that I owned, I bought it with my own money, it was 1gram. My uncle calls them wafers. I have been buying a piece or two at a time every second week for the last four years. Sometimes if my finances allow it, I would get one big bar. By big I mean like 20 grams. Once, I exchanged a few 20's and a 10 for a 50. Mostly though, I just buy lots of smaller ones.
According to my uncle, gold is the oldest money in the world. Every single empire that was worth its salt had a gold reserve. That, coming from a man whose opinion I regard highly, I'll take it.
I have since learnt from experience that when starting out, its better to buy smaller pieces because they are what is called highly liquid. Meaning they are easier and quicker to sell in case I decide to exchange them for cash.
But there is a catch. The smaller it is the more I spend but the bigger the bar, the cheaper it is as in the amount of weight vs the price. Once, I tried selling off what I will refer to as the boss bar, it was stressfull to say the least.
First, I learnt through the dealer that they needed to assay it first which would take a couple of days. He then told me to buy smaller ones instead next time, since their exchange into cash was almost instantaneous.
So I have done just that not with the idea of reselling them but hopefully for the long term. Where I live I pay about 48 bucks for a single gram at the moment. That's about it.
Second stash. Pairs of scissors.
Yep, I'm not ashamed to admit it. I'm a cutter. Thankfully not of people, but of t- shirts, dresses and jeans. It's not because I hate clothes or anything. Quite the opposite.
So, how does a woman in her twenties end up with sixty plus pairs of scissors? I didn't set out to be a collector of these things. It just happened gradually.
The earliest memories that I have of myself with a pair in hand go like this. My mom had just bought me a pair of dungarees. They were black and I love black things but after putting it on and standing in front of the mirror, I felt like something was missing. They were pretty, but just not perfect. I decided then to do something about it, to give them some character.
Next thing you know, I was sitting on my bed, a pair of scissors in hand, cutting out the knees and the bottom part of the legs, up to my ankles.
I put them back on, stood in front of the mirror and loved what I saw. I thought they looked cool. An hour later my parents were back. First my mom with my dad just behind. For the first few minutes after they came in, I was on my knees trying to fit pieces into a jigsaw puzzle.
I stood up to get some water I think thats when my mom noticed it for the first time. "Oh my goodness. What have you done?" My dad looked up then. He laughed and so did my mom. They laughed really hard. They kept laughing. I cried. "But I like them like this" I told them, with tears welling up. I was six and I knew then that I just prefered some of my jeans that way.
I have since bought tons of pairs of scissors, sometimes because they looked pretty or because I thought they could cut better than the previous one. Cut lots of t-shirts, jeans and the arms or hems off of dresses and gained a ridiculous amount of those things. Once in a while I'll grab one to trim off the ends of my hair or to cut out boxes into smaller pieces before throwing them into the recycling bin.
The genie in the clock.
Beware the grandfather fam.
My fear of the grandfather clock or rather the old money clock in the hall as my dad liked to refer to it started out as a misunderstanding.
My aunt, my dad's younger sister had just moved out of town. She came by about a month after my seventh birthday and brought me some gifts which I loved.
As we walked her to her car, I asked her where she was going. She said something to the effect of going back into the clock's face. Oh my gosh! I was dumbfounded. I looked up at my dad and my mom. Did they hear what my aunt had just said?
Surely, they had heard her, we were standing together around my aunt. If they had heard her, they surely acted like it wasn't a big deal. So I figured it was something that you were supposed to be cool about.
In truth, freaked out was an understatement. I mean, that huge clock had something that resembled a door. Did my aunt turn into some kind of a genie after driving off and lived in this thing? For a long time after that, if my parents were going out of the house, I would take my bike and ride out.
If I was in the house, I would avoid the hallway at all costs. It just so happened that one day after school, I felt braver than usual so I forced myself to sit on a chair across the hallway. I can't really say if I expected to see something. I guess I secretly hoped I wouldn't see anything. I stared at the clock. Repeating in my head as I rocked myself in the chair. "I'm not scared, Im not scared, I'm not scared."
Thing is, the alarm went off, it must have caught me by surprise because I screamed and tried to run but instead, my leg got caught up in the chair and I fell on my back.
It took me a few more seconds to realise that the alarm hadn't actually come out of the grandfather clock but rather from the clock in the kitchen. For all I know the grandfather clock hadn't worked since from before I was born. It was my mom's time to go to choir practice hence the alarm from the kitchen. Damn, I hated that loud alarm in that moment.
The following day, I once again walked past the hallway but this time, I told myself I would walk slower than before and so I did. Shouting as I passed the clock. " Me? I'm not going to be scared of a goddamn clock" As if on cue, there was a loud bang and I turned around and shot through the door.
It was around my tenth when I saw my aunt again. This time around, I asked my aunt for the second time. "So, aunt Bertha, where is it you said you live?" She answered. "I live in a quaint little village my darling, it's called Clock Face. Why in the world anyone would name such a beautiful place Clock Face is beyond me. They say it's because the local clock there used to be some sort of landmark."