I’ve been really busy and stressed at work lately, but in spite of that the shoebox and its contents are never far from my thoughts. You might say that I’m getting a bit obsessed about them. I’ve been trying to find out who the poet is, or the couple in the photos, but no luck. I asked the daughter of the previous owner about it (her mother is in a nursing home and suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease, so she wouldn’t be able to help me). She was certain that no one in her family was a poet, and she doubted that the people in the photos were anyone from her family. She told me that her mom liked to buy stuff from yard sales, and her guess was that the shoebox was something her mom had picked up from one of those.
A couple of guys came to do some plumbing work on Friday. They had to get under the house to do that, and I discovered that there was a trapdoor that led to the crawl space underneath. It had been screwed shut, and had to be opened. After they were done, I decided to go down there to explore. Armed with a flashlight and my iPhone for shots, I squeezed myself through the trapdoor. It was cramped and claustrophobic (I’m amazed that the workmen were able to do any work there, I’m tiny compared to them). I was mentally prepared for rats and dead cats or even something worse, but there was nothing out of the ordinary down there. Nothing out of the ordinary in the town of Ordinary (pun intended). Here are the photos:
OK, I’m freaking out just a bit here. I saw a really bizarre nightmare last night. I know this is supposed to be a blog about my new house, but the dream is related to that, and on the other hand, look at the name of the blog. This isn’t what I meant when I came up with the name, but now it feels strangely appropriate, don’t you think?
In the dream, I heard the doorbell ring and went to open the door. There was a man there. He said he was a federal agent. He showed me his badge and all, just like the FBI agents do in the movies. Here comes the scary part: there was something wrong with his face; it was leaking inky smoke so that I couldn’t see what he looked like. When I woke up I realized that this image totally came from the ink-covered faces in the photos, of course (see the previous post). The man asked me about the shoebox. He said that it contains top-secret information and that I need to give it to him. I got scared that he’ll put me in jail and went to get the shoebox, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I searched the whole house but it was nowhere. Then I went to the bathroom to look for it, and saw myself in the mirror: my face was covered with inky smoke as well! And that’s when I woke up. When I think back about the dream, it didn’t say “FBI” on his badge; it said “AWE”.
This is the weirdest thing of all: Now I can’t find the shoebox anywhere. I have looked everywhere I can think of. I’m sure that it will turn up somewhere, there is so much junk lying around in the house at the moment, but kind of creepy in any case. I didn’t get around to scanning the poems yet, but I did take photos of them, luckily.
There were two black and white photographs in the old shoebox I found from the attic. The box was among the things left behind by the previous owner. The photos depict a man getting into and out of a wetsuit, and a woman – I’m guessing his wife or girlfriend – helping him. He could be a diver? I’m not an expert, but I’d say that the photos are from the 60s or 70s. Here comes the weird part: their faces are covered with black ink stains. It must have been done on purpose as only the faces are covered. It’s a delicious mystery, the whole shoebox is. I’m thrilled! I love mysteries like this. In addition to the photos, there are poems, 12 of them! I’ll post them soon.
Here are the scans of the photos:
As I mentioned earlier, the previous owner left all kinds of stuff in the attic. Her daughter told me that they have no use for them; I can do what I want with them!
I’ve always been fascinated by attics. As a child, I used to sneak up to my grandparents’ attic to explore. It always felt like a magical, mysterious place, slightly scary but not too much so, filled with forgotten treasures waiting to be discovered. I’ve felt the same way in the past few weeks, climbing up to my own attic.
The most wonderful discovery I’ve made so far is an old shoebox filled with typewritten sheets of poems and black and white photographs. Photos and scans of those soon!
I spent the night in my future home for the first time. It was almost like camping indoors, I had a sleeping bag. There was a weird flapping noise that kept me awake at night. I found a dead wren in the attic earlier (there is a broken window), and I imagined that there's a bird trapped somewhere inside the walls (not a nice image to think about, sorry).