In Which I Wax Poetic on the Glory of Shrinkwrap

13 Sep

Twas seventeen years ago tonight that I first learned to use shrinkwrap and found a portal to another world.

It all began in a make-believe village as evening drew its indigo curtain over sunset, and fairy lights sparkled to life in the trees. Inside the bookshop, the aroma of coffee swirled and mingled with the scent of paperbacks and harbor salt. Miles Davis played softly over the murmur of patrons, and I learned to wield the heat gun that molded plastic to page.

More importantly, I had my first conversation with the man who taught me the fine art of tailoring cellophane — the man who would one day become my husband. And that’s probably why a night that should have been mundane has become a fairy tale in my memory, complete with something approaching a Danny Elfman score*.

It marked the transition between the evil enchantment of my abusive first marriage and a new life over the rainbow, beyond the wardrobe, and, as the falling dusk illustrated, beyond the proverbial sunset.

(After seventeen years, I think I can be pretty sure this wasn’t all just a plastic-fume-inspired hallucination.)


*And lots of corniness and melodrama.


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