Book of Days: June 1, Inheritance

It was the only thing he had left of his dad and it made no sense. It was a clipping from a newspaper, an old one, back when they printed them every day instead of just the weekend. The article was from a Wednesday, the seventh of June, but the year was missing and he’d never bothered to search to see what the options were.

When people saved things, it was because they were supposed to mean something. He’d spent most of his life looking at this article, trying to figure out what it meant. His father had carried it, after all, in the front of the moleskin journal that went everywhere with him. Given how old it was, and how many of those books the old man had gone through in his life, he must have moved it from one to another over the years.

It was about the opening of a museum on the other side of the country. That was it, just an article about the place opening, not even really going into what the exhibits were going to be. The thing was, it must have been from some small-town paper, the one where the museum was opened, and he could not understand why the museum or why the local interest piece from a town his father could not have possibly ever visited.

His father had never left the city in his life. That was one of the things they’d said about him at the funeral. He’d been born and raised here and never even wanted to be anywhere else. So how had he gotten the clipping? Had someone sent it to him? If so, why?

It wasn’t the only question he had of his father. Wasn’t even really on the top ten list, but still, it was the one he kept coming back to, because the article was the only thing he had left. His father’s will asked that all the damn moleskins be burnt unread, and his mother had been determined to see his father’s last wishes carried out. The article had fluttered to the floor behind her as she carried a stack from his father’s office and out to the firepit in the backyard. He hadn’t been able to save the books, not even one page, but he’d saved this.

He was going to be carrying it the rest of his life. He’d known it the moment he picked it up, and the certainty solidified as he’d read the headline. It made no sense. There would be no answer, but he would keep looking, keep thinking. Hell, he’d already googled the museum. The place had burned down. There answer wasn’t even there.

The article was his now. It was in his planner, tucked between the cover and the first page. He hoped he’d be able to keep from moving it when the new year started, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to let it go.

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by | Jun 1, 2021