When I moved to California last year, I did so in a complete last-minute flurry. I wrote a bit about it while in the transition process, but the last ten months have proven difficult as I continually discover stuff missing. I’ve spent my adult life carefully collecting all kinds of home items (mostly kitchen stuffs) and taking care to hold on to the few mementos left from my younger days.
I had three excellent frying pan screens I used exclusively for cooking bacon and a large set of glass mixing bowls which I hadn’t realized didn’t make the cut when packing the car. Replaceable, but I was disappointed to find them missing.
More regretfully left behind: my clarinet. Sure, I hadn’t played it or even put it together in about a decade. Sure, I halfheartedly tried selling it a few times over the years. But that stupid thing was one of the last really great gestures my grandpa did for me. I remember realizing my old clarinet had been missing most of the holiday break (who actually practiced at home, anyway), and later pieced together it was because he had stolen it out of my room to use on trade for the professional one replacing it. I have that memory of the effort he put in for something he knew nothing about, and thankfully I can’t leave that behind as easily.
That being said, some things I did manage to salvage include:
- My first extracted wisdom tooth, which came out intact and looks like something from Dr. Seuss’ nightmares.
- The one album I have containing childhood photos.
- A copy of the literary journal I typeset in college as part of the editing team.
- Every greeting card I ever received from the last 15 years.
- The original copy of an image I’ve been contemplating as my first tattoo since 2008.
- Prints of senior prom photos which were taken on several disposable cameras.
- My jar of dirt.
- My fucking gross as hell gloves from high school marching band.
- A collection of really old foreign currency my grandpa collected while in the Navy.
- A massive painting on a warped frame I purchased off a coffee shop wall in the middle of a Board meeting.
Things are just things at the end of it all, and it’s the remaining memories which ultimately give them importance.