I call her Marjorie.
Twenty-nine cast iron pounds of gorgeous gleaming black enamel and shiny silver metal. Plus, she has motor driven spiral gears, and an oscillating shuttle on a horizontal axis. (Or so the instruction manual tells me.)
My 1950 Singer sewing machine.
I’m left to wonder about you, though-my fingerprints layering atop your fingerprints as I trace Marjorie’s elegant ebony surface, threading spools of Belding Corticelli mercerized cotton, or guiding, with practiced hands, exquisite material under her high grade carbon steel needle. Paradise colored 40’s barkcloth. Autumn plaid Pendleton wool. Postwar raw silk-a gift from a friend. I’m wishing I’d been allowed to make your acquaintance, a kindred soul, who decades ago sat as I now do. Back hunched in aching concentration as eyes intent on witnessing perfection oversee that seams are straight. Raw edges evenly matched.
If I could, I’d love to ask-did you also find Marjorie to be temperamental over fiber content? (she hates anything synthetic). Difficult to oil, but indefatigable in the face of even the most strenuous endeavors? Did you ever cry as you worked-over mistakes you made in stitches, or in life? (And did you, at any time, sew through your own thumb?)
My mind wanders. Travels back over miles of fabric, and the distance of long ago, to what we’ve shared.
I may not have known you, but you were here.
“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
-Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie