While I am searching for an old diary in the attic, I find a large cardboard
box full of ring-binders, which, in turn, are full of notes I once made
concerning the construction of an emotional puncture kit.
The find seems
providential: my love-life is in tatters. Constructed almost
entirely of half-truths, fabricated intuitions and vaguely-remembered urges, my private life is transparently in desperate want of repair. If ever I needed
the emotional puncture kit, it is at this emotional juncture.
Unfortunately, I need to locate several parts to build the puncture kit, and despite many
pleading telephone calls to various ironmongers, greengrocers, bookmakers,
stationery shops and butchers, I am unable to assemble the kit.
I look out of the window, and notice that tumbleweed is blowing past the house. The sight adds to my increasing depression, and I hasten to the town to actively seek the parts I need. A pawnbroker's catches my eye, and I
step inside the musty shop. I explain my predicament to the papery man behind
the grille, and he shows me a box which houses some small rodents. The
pawnbroker tells me that the rodents may not replace my love life, but they
will love me if I love them. And if I fail to love them, they will punish me
with their sharp pointy teeth.
Not quite knowing why, I buy the rodents and
hurry home. Once there, I tell them sweet things, and get them a saucer of
milk. Later, my husband returns. It seems that he has sucessfully sold my
old diary to a major publisher. I am oddly unmoved, but then, I have my