"Miriam’s Time Capsule" © : Chapter 1: "The Box" One late summer morning in August in 2004 my girlfriend Chris called to ask if I wanted to go to a flea market. I didn't really want to go. I only had ten bucks and you know how it is, when you have money you can't find a thing to spend it on, when you don't have money you find all kinds of things you want and can't buy because you don't have any money! Anyway, I'd almost talked myself out of going when at the last minute I decided to take my chances and my ten bucks and we hit the road.
The flea market was big with hundreds of vendors. We walked around for the longest time, and I didn't see a thing I could afford or really wanted. I just wasn't in the mood. We agreed to go through one more building before we left.
We walked through the door and to my right, was an old man who had his tables full of old door knobs, hinges, light fixtures and old tools. As I was looking around the tables something caught my eye. Under one of the tables was a big box. And there was something hanging out of it. It looked like the sleeve of a blouse. The material looked delicate and the cuff was unusual. I continued to look at the items displayed on the tables and then walked off to join my friend.
After I wandered around for a while I was drawn back to the box. I just couldn’t get the image of that sleeve out of my head. It was so pretty. I just had to know what the rest of it looked like.
I walked up to the old man, pointed under the table and asked him, "what's in the box?" "Just junk", he said. "I'm going to chuck it in the nearest dumpster". I asked him if he wouldn't mind if I look through it and he said, "Help yourself". So I pulled the box from under the table. When I opened it all I could see was a bunch of what looked like dirty rags with dried animal poo, mildew and other stains all over them. Eeeeewwww! No wonder he was going to pitch it! But then I reached down and grabbed the sleeve. It was attached to the most beautiful little blouse! And it was covered in filth! "Good Heavens"!, I said. If this is what I think it is, I wonder what the rest of all these filthy things are?
Against my better judgement I plunged my arm into the box of filthy things crusted with "Eeeewww". My hand hit something and as I pulled the "dirty rags" back, I could see a smaller box that had what looked like old boots in it! My heart started to pound! I have to have this box! So I asked the old man, "what will you take for this box"? He started to mumble something when I suddenly said, "I'll give you ten bucks"! Where that sudden outburst came from, I don't know, but it wasn't me speaking! Why would I spend the last ten bucks in my pocket for a big box full of poo encrusted rags?! But when he said, "Sold"! I eagerly put the ten dollar bill in his hand. Now how in the world am I going to get this box all the way back to the car? I had to find Chris. She's going to be so mad when she see's the size of this thing!
Sure enough, when I brought her back to the table she took one look at the box and said, "Are you crazy"?! "What in the world did you buy?!" I said, "Let's just get this back to car PLEASE"! We picked it up and made our way to the parking lot. Chris has a small car and the trunk was out of the question. We thought about taking everything out of the box and putting it in the back seat but the stuff was so filthy we decided against it. Finally after several attempts and laughing so hard we could barely stand up, we managed to shove the box in the back seat and headed for home. It was a giggle fest on the ride back and we talked about the box and what else it might contain.
We would soon find out that "The Box" was a sort of time capsule! It held bits and pieces of someone's life they had saved. Most of the items in this box were more than 100 years old! But that wasn't all. The following weeks would uncover some astounding information about the identity of the person who had saved them, where they lived and a bizarre connection to me that is a little more than spooky.