Flea Market

by Anita Kestin

She loved flea markets. Looked for them wherever she went. Why? Because she loved seeing things she could turn into something else. A vase — well that could become a lamp. An abstract painting might look better hung on its side. The interesting dress fabric could be a great pillow– right? No, she just hated to sew so she passed up that item. A lampshade into a doll for the daughter she had never had.

Her mother long ago and her husband now were perpetually mystified. “Why do you always have to turn one thing into another thing?” they would each say in an exasperated tone. Leave well enough alone. Accept things as they are.

Her marriage was not a good one but she had long ago abandoned any hope of turning her husband into someone he was not: someone who loved children, someone who admired the things she transformed.
As she wandered the stalls picking up one object after another she wondered what to do next and came upon her most audacious project yet: She would transform her marriage into a divorce.

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Anita Kestin, MD, MPH, has worked in academics, nursing homes, hospices, and locked wards of a psychiatric facility. She’s a daugther (of immigrants fleeing the Holocaust), wife, mother, grandmother, progressive activist. She is now attempting to calm nerves and stave off longing for family reunions by writing (memoir, short fiction, and nonfiction.)

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