The Loveliest of All Was the Unicorn

At Significant Objects, Josh Glenn and Rob Walker’s fabulous site devoted to people like Nicholson Baker, Luc Sante, Stewart O’Nan, Lizzie Skurnick and many, many others inventing fictional stories about real things, my piece on a white unicorn figurine runs today. I was offered the choice to write about one of three different objects but as soon as I saw this one, my mind went in a particular direction and I was loath to stop its tracks. Here’s how my story opens:

A week after the shiva, still not quite used to seeing my own
reflection in the uncovered mirrors, I mustered up the nerve to sift
through my aunt Holly’s belongings. Well, she wasn’t exactly my aunt;
she’d married my mother’s younger brother Joey at the tail end of the
disco era, and even though the union hadn’t even lasted two years —
he’d had a chronic habit of snorting the cocaine he was supposed to
sell — she and I had stayed close through two more marriages and
peripatetic travels.

But I hadn’t talked to her in a couple of years, not since my own
long-term living arrangements collapsed in financial and emotional
disaster, and was in the process of slinking back to my parents’ house
in disgrace when I heard Holly was dead. The news did not surprise me;
finding out she’d owned her own home, and that she had bequeathed it to
me, did…

Read on for the rest, and bid on the unicorn figurine right here. And while you’re at it, give the song a listen, too.