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What Am I?


Ariel Dingus


Once upon a time I was young, vibrant, and sparkling. Then age set in and I became a little warped and thicker on the bottom than on the top. Now I only sparkle after Iíve been recently washed by the shop girl. However, every now and again when the sun beams through me just right I can still throw rainbows all over the people in my home. I live in a cozy little bookshop, just in front, with a sign over me that says Bilboís Bookend.


All the people who pass by look through me to see the goodies inside. Sometimes boys or girls press their faces or hands against me and just for a second I feel that warm, alive sensation. Sometimes after someone has Windex-ed me I squeak and that really surprises them. I get a front row seat to all the things going on about town. Iím the first to know all the latest gossip and the first to hear class assignments from the school down the street. I have had forty-nine people kiss in front of me and twelve marriage proposalsÖ not to me of course, between couples strolling along. Itís great being in the middle of everything.

On the other hand, sometimes when I have to be fitted for a new coat to fit my odd frame, I get covered up for a while and get out of the loop. The scraping and pairing away at the old coat sometimes can be painful and dangerous too. Why, last year the man knocked out one of my panes! I thought I was a goner for sure!


I view all the seasons from the sill where I sit. I get the salty sea breezes of Summer, the frosty breath of Winter, the cool hand of Spring, and the crisp whisper of Autumn. The worst thing about the Seasons is their weather. In the summer I get all foggy and sweaty, in the spring it takes forever for the dew to burn off, in the winter I feel as if I will crack, and in the fall I get leaves constantly thrown in my face.


Yet, the Seasons hold their charms too, but it mostly involves decoration. I love it when the shopkeepers decorate me with holly, mistletoe, and glass Christmas decorations. Santa always peeps through me before knocking on the door for the annual party.

The frost twists and curls around my edges first then winds its way into the canter of my panes. Letís face it folks frost tickles. When spring comes so does the Easter Bunny, plastic pastel grass and eggs. The kids wait through story time and peep through the window to get an early look while the Bunny hops to the door. This is the time when Mother Nature is really windy and I get the most dirt shoved in my sill. In the fall, skeletons, pumpkins, witches, and cauldrons take up residence on my sill, they are quite good company. Pilgrims hop out of the history books to say hello. Autumn is a wonderful time of year for conversation. With summer comes the patriotic red, white, and blue sprinkled with the occasional Uncle Sam. Blistering heat makes me grateful for the Super High setting on the Air Conditioner.


Its quite amazing, the kinds of people you see in my line of work. One views slices of existence from every walk of life. The mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, bachelor, child, teenager, young adult, etc. are all exhibited by my clientele.