Sunday, October 3, 2010

My favourite two: Tash

I bought these cigarette machines from an antiques dealer over a decade ago. I have found a place for them in 7 different homes since then. After a while, I came to see them not just as quirky collectibles but as symbols for persistence, trust, partnership and change.

What I like most about them is that they are a pair. Time and mistreatment have marked each one in different ways, and we often display them separately, but I cannot imagine one without the other. Like twins or long time companions, it is duality that makes them unique.

I could not afford to pay upfront for the machines and paid them off over about 6 months - often making down payments of as little as a few dollars. So long and so slowly did I pay off my layby that the antiques dealer hid the cigarette machines inside a wardrobe at the back of his shop to prevent his wife from selling them! His patience and trust helped me learn a big life lesson about making good on my word and not giving up - as more often than not, people will meet you halfway.

The cigarette machines also make me think about how much things change. The place - and price - of cigarettes in our society is certainly very different now to what it must have been when these machines were heavily used. I love these machines because they remind that I too have changed...

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