when my grandmother died i scavenged her closet for a piece of her i could keep. as a kid i loved digging in the hat boxes and the dust-covered fur coats, finding all sorts of little treasures: ancient portable kodak cameras and polaroids from the sixties, silver-framed tinted blue bug-eye sunglasses, fake jewelry, bottles of fermented sparkling wine, unopened decks of playing cards, cigarette holders and the most incredible collection of hotel souvenir ashtrays and matchboxes you could imagine. hawaii, fort worth, veracruz, needles, rio de janeiro, ottawa, monterrey, nice… i was always amazed at how my grandma had managed to put together this wacky world itinerary for herself.

the one i kept was a sober black ashtray with white lettering that read : stardust las vegas. i didn’t smoke back then, but i was well on my way to developing my groping addiction to 50s and 60s americana. i still had to discover doowop and douglas sirk and duckass and develop a crush on james dean, but even at this tender age i was drawn to the dirty delight of this useless piece and the careless age it encapsuled. or so i thought.

i somehow missed the stardust’s implosion. watching the little youtube screen has sent shivers down my everything. i still have to connect tons of dots accumulated in my personal history and my personal tastes and my personal fantasies and wakings. finding this is just another reminder of how everything is tied, how we’re happy little victims of things that stand for nothing and mean everything.

the melody haunts my reverie

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