Story#19: The Junk Drawer

junk drawer

The door made a low groaning creak, like metal gears grinding on a bed of nails.

A whoosh of air threw a puff cloud of dust into a beam of light projecting from a nearby window.

Mikey slowly eased his head into the doorway, hiding his body behind the door as he peeked.  He was here with a twelve year old’s purpose.  He was here to spy in his dad’s junk drawer.

He had been there once before when he was five or six and found mounds of treasures.  Old pipes that smelled of a strong, sweet scent.  Long white pipe cleaners that he could bend into any animal shape.  Large silver dollar coins with a serious looking man’s face on it.  Matching tie clips and cufflinks in shiny brass.  Old and worn photos in faded black and white.  Stray papers from various agencies covered in rows and rows of numbers.  Pencils in all shapes, sizes and conditions.  A blazing gold pen that slid open when you twisted it.   A couple of belt buckles with embossed decorations like cowboys wear.  The end of a peacock feather, the part that looks like a large blue eye.  A ring of keys of various sizes and colors.  A bulky class ring with an intricate red stone.  A tiny metal horse with surprising detail for its size.  A small black flashlight that did not work.  A battered copy of a book entitled Field of Dreams.  Several motley buttons of wood and plastic and brass.  A folded up map of Disneyland from back before they opened Space Mountain.  Two VHS cassettes, one of the movie Ghostbusters and the other of the movie 10.  A package of Trident peppermint gum.  A small box of rainbow colored fruit flavored Tic Tacs.  Some ticket stubs from Dodger games long passed.  A letter opener carved like a pineapple.  A small wooden box with a chipped painting of the Hawaiian islands on the top.  An tarnished old pocket watch with Roman numerals for the numbers.  Menus from a few restaurants that may or may not have still existed.  Two screwdrivers with black and yellow handles, one flat head and the other a Philips head.  Seashells in various states of decay.  A few bits of twine.   A small whistle that made a shrill sound when he blew it.  Blank envelops scattered throughout.  A few dirty pennies, mostly from the 1970s.  A small stick with holes in it, probably from termites.  A pocket knife with two small blades, scissors, bottle opener, can opener, file, ruler, magnifying glass, toothpick, and tweezers.  A bright orange extension cord that twisted through the madness of everything.

And under a handful of National Geographic magazines, the thing he was looking for.  The thing his twelve year old mind remembered from the time he had first seen it at age five.

He pulled out a copy of Playboy and nervous stuffed it under his shirt.  Then snuck back out the door, closing it behind him with another obnoxious creak.


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