Another gift

Birthday presents for my brother and me were wrapped in old bus and subway advertising posters that my father had stored on his utility shelves.

Cutty Sark. A Miró exhibit at MoMA. Time Magazine. That was his work: selling out-of-the-home space—though his truncated career ambition had been architecture.

Pieces of letters and images from the 70s appeared asymmetrically over our further cellophaned action figures, our baseball mitts, our Hot Wheels sets. The thick outer paper gave each gift a gravity yet familiarity and even whimsy.

We were instructed to open them carefully, pulling apart at the clear scotch tape rather than ripping the paper, so that it could be used again. I never noticed a particular wrapping making a second appearance on another gift, but that wasn’t the point.

It was so that it could, if my father so chose.

photo: wavemusicstudio

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One thought on “Another gift

  1. Such imagery, and such a revealing window into a personality. My dad says the same thing about wrapping paper, insisting we unwrap delicately, preserving the paper that we bought for 50 cents a tube at Wal-Mart. He is a child of the Depression era, however, so I understand, just as you wrote here, that though he never reuses it, he wants to know that he could.

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