Friday, December 31, 2010

Wonderland Marble

Every day of my Marblehead commute, I meant to write about this, so why not now? Why not?

Wonderland Marble. A little out-of-business ... marble shop? A whiteish (once white), old, small, one-level building, with a small parking lot, and a chainlink fence surrounding the whole thing, weeds growing along the edges.

What made me love it, what made me look for it almost every drive, and feel regretful if I forgot, was the statue in the front corner of the parking lot, behind the chainlink fence. I only got a few quick glimpses of it on each drive home because of where it was positioned. I always wanted more; I thought about trying to pull over and park somewhere, but never did. I couldn't see the statue on the drive in; it was just past an intersection on Route 1A, a busy 4-laner, right where you were picking up speed for one of its straight stretches.

I feel stupid saying it, but I'm not positive what the statue was. It was white, or once white, like the building. I think it was one of those sad-faced Madonna types, looking downward. Or it could've been an angel. But I think it wasn't. It was something female, noble looking, looking downward. I loved it. The closed, faded, run-down-ness of the building, once a presumably thriving business, with only a marble figure left to bear witness to the glory days. And had she always been there? Alongside the busy highway, a silent, effective advertising for the business? Or was she placed there as the business closed? A final farewell, a desire to not let her gather dust in a forgotten building, with no eyes to see her?

Somehow, I loved all of it. The name Wonderland Marble itself -- incredibly straightforward as a business name, like Boston Hardware, yet completely poetic because of the very words. "Wonderland" as a name of a town, or is it an area?, never ceases to cause a sense of, well, wonder in me, all the more so since I've never seen anything in Wonderland to cause any wonder ... except for our marble statue.

And I loved this beautiful, graceful statue, up against a chainlink fence and weeds, alongside the rushing highway and unseeing eyes, backed up against the now-closed Greyhound racing track, across the street from the Wonderland T station, filled with streaming commuters each morning, and the Wonderland Ballroom, another relic from another time.

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