Antiquities I

She loved going into dusty old shops and ‘antiquing’ on her off days. A corporate go-getter, she rarely gave herself a day off, but after twenty days of constant meetings, putting out fires, encouraging pep talks, and client soothings, she was drained.

She hated feeling this empty.

Sometimes sex filled her, but even that, of late, had become stale. She’d played with a few guys a few times, but none really had that click that meant they were the key to fit her lock.

So here she was on a Wednesday, trolling slowly through Stamford, Connecticut, roaming at will through the delightful shops, some bright and glitzy, some, like this, a bit off the beaten path, but with a sweetness and charm that all the gilt in the world couldn’t match.

The shopkeeper, a wizened fellow of late years had bright blue eyes, and a story for every piece in his shop. The Dresden lady lamp was second to none, and he’d already boxed that up to ship back to her loft. She wasn’t taking any chances with that, driving back over the Brooklyn Bridge tomorrow. He’d promised that his freight company was second to none, and had never broken a piece he’d shipped.

The smaller Waterford vase would look lovely in her kitchen, and she carried it around the shop with her.

After an hour poking through the front rooms, he came to her as she stood indecisively in front of a Louis XVI banquette settee.

“We ship furniture too, Miss.” He was right at her elbow, and she jumped.

“Sorry, Miss, didn’t mean to startle you.” He held out a steadying hand. “You seem taken with this piece.”

“Well, the thing is, I really adore the style…but …well…” she looked at the piece again. And sighed.

“It’s pink. Verrrrry pink.”

“Not one of those frilly pink girls, eh?” He wheezed out a rich chuckle, when she vehemently shook her head ‘no’.

“How ’bout this…” He paused. “I don’t often let people up to see the overflow stock, but I’m going to close the store for my lunch break, and if you’re in no hurry, I’ll let you up there to poke around while I eat my soup and sandwich. ”

She smiled, and his blue eyes twinkled behind his wire-framed glasses.


She found a pair of outrageous gilt lion columns that would flank the door to her bedroom with panache, and a dose of humor. The expression in their eyes was fierce, and their open, roaring mouths would make her smile every night when she went to bed.

Two smaller Dresden pieces had been found stuffed into a wooden crate with a peeling Cola sign on the outside. She made her way to the last corner of the last room. It was warm up here, and motes of dust danced in the shafts of light pouring in through the surprisingly generous windows. She had laid her coat over the baluster, and was just laying the two Dresden pieces to the side of the railing when the gleaming rays caught on something in the corner.

Gleaming dully gold, she was drawn across the room. A pair of table lamps sat on a pile of boxes behind a rather moth-eaten couch. A large brass  sphere rose to a slender neck, with a second, smaller sphere holding the socket. The shades were incredibly ugly, dark and dingy. But with linen shades to replace those, they would look fantastic in her “industrial style” living room. The furniture there was large and clunky, and these were perfect for the scale of the loft.


She lifted one. Heavy sucker, she mused, puffing her way back to the stairway with first one, then the other. She saw the little, bright-eyed fish as she put the second lamp down, and couldn’t resist him, either.
She could picture him in her bathroom, surrounded by seashell soaps. Setting the second lamp down with a thud, she went back and scooped up the fish. Tipping him upside down she saw the distinctive blue crossed swords. Meissen.  “Hmmm,” she mused for a moment, knowing that this one little piece would set her back close to $300.00.

She shrugged. What the hell. She’d made a killing, frankly, landing the Paulson account, and dammit! She wanted it. She’d give a pass to the settee, and take the lamps, the fish, the lions and the Dresden pieces.

As if reading her mind, the shopkeeper poked his head up the stairs. He chuckled again when he saw her stash by the railings.

“I can see I made a good choice in letting you up here to wander, Miss!”

She looked at her pile, and laughed.

“I think I’m shopped out and here I’d planned to spend the day poking around town…”

“Well, plenty to look at in Stamford, to be sure. Glad that you came by. I always believe my pieces find the owners who will care for them the best. His eyes twinkled as he took in the dichotomy of her choices, from the fat brass lamps to the delicate porcelain fish.


She drove back over the Bridge at 8:30, back into the gleaming Apple. She’d not planned to come home this early but she could hardly wait to put her new toys in her home.

It took four trips to get everything upstairs, damn weren’t those lamps the heaviest things? The lions looked perfect outside her pocket doors, fierce and sturdy and quixotic.

She placed the fish on the bathroom  shelf, making a note on her PDA to pick up some seashell soaps, and looked around to find a place to put the little Dresden pieces.

She found him standing in her kitchen.

so, you’ve read 950 words and only one of them was “sex”…going to hang in there for part 2?  ~ nilla, grinning~