the little shop in Chinatown

I had a meeting today in the city. The city in which I haven’t visited in a couple of months. I had seen it with new eyes today and I’m not sure why. It inspired me. I wanted to eat at every local restaurant, look into each passing place of people chatting about this or that and just take photographs of every corner; even of the empty alleyways or the one millionth building I’ve taken over the past years. And then I walked by the little shop Mom introduced me to.

There was a big white sign that had a message. Lights and beautiful fabrics from their windows were replaced with darkness and empty walls and floors. The sign mentioned gratitude for all their customers and that they enjoyed serving us for close to half a century. My heart sank knowing that I’ll never ever have the chance to walk through these doors again. I immediately tried to remember the last time I was there. Perhaps checking to see if they had interesting buttons for a possible bag or shirt I’d make (Oh can I dream!) or maybe to get some felt for my diy coasters. Maybe it was to just visit as I sometimes would. They used to have this orange cat with a fluffy tail that would slink under racks and against walls. There were so many colorful, funky and eclectic fabrics and mysterious tools and threads for sewing. Mom would take us here often when we were children because she sewed a lot back then.

She called me the other night and I told her what I saw. I could hear some sadness in her voice. I’m sure she was thinking of all the times she went there, too. The passing of time was reflected by a couple of closed doors. Their sign is still up. The memories are still there. The spirit of the little shop in Chinatown will remain with my mother and me as we always remembered it to be.

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