The Contents of a Box Filled with Artifacts of My Father’s Life – by Lulu Carrigan


Lulu Carrigan has a bachelor of arts in creative writing and three typewriters (two are broken). She has only been published, with a loose definition of the word, on her blog, luluthezulu.tumblr.com, or on twitter, @lulucarrigan. Talk to her about poetry, art, mopeds, music, people, places and things! More work by Lulu featured on IP.

First of all, the box: It is blue, like a robins egg or a baby boys room. The box is cardboard and most likely held, at one time, pre-made ravioli. Pasted on the front of the box is a black and white newspaper cut out of a service station that looks like a giant covered wagon. On the top right corner of the picture it says: Dahle’s 1-80 Service, Milford Nebr. I don’t think my father has ever been to Nebraska. Now for inside the box. The most important thing is a cassette tape titled: Favela Live. The tape is yellow and on it is a recording of my father walking into a Favela in Brazil, in search of drugs. He describes children with guns informing him of a recent police raid. And my father, always asking “Machona?”Cocaína?” Photographs of the apartment where I was born, a view of the Empire State building in a tiny space between two buildings in Brooklyn. Our cat perched on top of the television, my mother, pregnant with me, curled up on the futon in the tiny room where she would, in a matter of months, give birth to me. Me, as a baby, crying in a bathtub with my father sitting next to me, laughing. A Polaroid of my father, younger, smoking a joint, baring his teeth at the camera, his long dark hair pulled back into a pony tail. A envelope from a French Hotel. Postcards, birthday cards, bumper stickers, newspaper clippings near the bottom of the box. And finally, my own contribution: a postcard of Brigitte Bardot and the high school photos of two ex-boyfriends, one of whom I lost my virginity too.

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