Monday, October 18, 2010


A heart-shaped locket cherishes memories, pictures, or locks of hair. Lockets are necklaces kept close to the heart. They are history and future sewn together. The locket is carried into the future on the bearer's neck and it is a window to the past at the unclasping of the sides. Every person has a locket whether or not it is worn around the neck or draped about the heart. It is a safe place for secret thoughts, hopeful dreams, childhood happiness, memorable faces, or remorseful memory. A locket is carried close to the heart.

I'll open my locket for you. Although tiny and not often visible, it is packed with frozen moments that breath in my memory. Some have become living prayers.

A picture in my locket that I have revisited often in the past couple of days is of a couple riding the train. Judging by their clothing, I would say that they were marginally young. The man had dark hair, a tired face, and a black eye. In his hand, he clasped a wide-tooth comb with strands of blonde hair stuck in it. These strands of blonde hair belonged to the woman who sat beside him on the train. There was something not quite right about the woman's eyes and skin. Her skin was sallow and her eyes distant. The woman's hair had a horrific ponytail dent and had been combed through. When the couple had situated themselves in their seats, the woman lay her head in the man's lap and he began to methodically comb her hair. I glanced away from this couple in time to catch a young man across the aisle whispering in repulsion to his friend, "That's disgusting." I looked back at the couple and realized that the man was searching out lice.

At first, I was angry at this disgusted man who chose to only look at the physical circumstances of this couple. Of course, I understood how easy it was to judge by appearance. After all, I was judging that whispering man. If any observer were to glance at this man, they could assume by his clothing that he had lived a posh existence.

This couple captivated me. Obviously, life or circumstance had dealt them a heavy blow. Why did that man have such a black eye? People don't just randomly wake up with black eyes. How did the woman get lice? How did they have money for public transportation if they obviously were in such dire circumstance? This couple also showed deep commitment. Perhaps a man might find it a joy to comb his significant other's hair, but probably only if it is clean and bug-free. What brought this couple to such a deep commitment to each other?

I got off at the next stop. My questions remain unanswered.