31 December 2006

The Toy Store and the Tree

My dad has always wanted to open a toy store. He still talks about it, how one day he’ll open a toy store like the one he used to go to once a week to get my sister and me second-hand toys; old-school stuff we probably threw away, not knowing the value of nostalgia: bouncy things, and metal things, and springy things with peeling (poisonous?) colors. If I’m ever rich I’ll buy him a toy store where he could sit all day and experience his own childhood again, before he was made to know what religion he should follow (Orthodox Judaism), what political affiliation (Likud), who were his enemies (Palestinians), and what he should pursue in life (everything). Life was a tin soldier with arms and legs stuck to his body, and a key in his back that, when turned, made marching music.

When I was a kid my mom made me promise to buy her a tree she could sit under and enjoy her life. It had white flowers that smelled good. I’m not being over-sentimental here, remembering a conversation I had with my mom more than twenty years ago because of my shame of unfulfilled human potential. No. She actually reminds me of that conversation every once in a while. “You still haven’t gotten me that tree,” she says.

Maybe the store and the tree had become symbols of the peace my parents had always wanted but could never achieve because they were taught, like everyone else, to chase insignificant things like power and respect. But behind these things there’s a life they had wanted but will never get to live: a quiet, simple life, playing with tin soldiers and sitting under a fragrant tree with white flowers, the unattainable gifts of a grateful son.


durante vita said...

Chasing insignificant things. This is the story of my life until recently. It took a family. And I love it.

Anthony Lemons said...

Have a wonderful New Years.

Sunflower said...

Thanks for stopping by my Sunflower blog and supporting me!
Welcome back anytime.

Happy Healthy New Year!

I will Exercise for Comments!

andrena said...

ummmmm...sitting under a tree with white blossoms...

maybe in my next life! lol!

until then...have a happy new year!

Salihah סליחה صالحه said...

Surfed in off BlogMad...beautifully written, really touched me. I wish I could give my mom a tree like that and my dad a shop like that, too. Peace.

People in the Sun said...

Thanks everyone and have a happy new year.

Gina Cobb said...

Maybe you should still get your mom a tree. And for your dad, perphaps a cool classic toy. It would knock their socks off, if you could pull it off.

Just thoughts. Way, WAY easier said than done!

Happy new year to you!

People in the Sun said...

I mean, I'd love to do that, but... A tree means my parents moving into a house, and they've lived in an apartment for the last forty years. And a store means money and time, which no one ever has anyway. What they both really want is a second chance in life, and that's not something I can give them. I call once a week and talk to them about movies and about politics. I can do that. Happy new year to you too.

Wally Banners said...

your a good person :)

People in the Sun said...

Hmmm... Why, thank you. I'll take your word for it.

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