Sentiment, sediment, and what’s at the bottom of it

Alright, so I am sentimental about people, places and things. I keep old notes in my coats, a mish-mash of crap in my sock drawer, and I’ve been known to haunt dead-end streets where I necked with a girl.

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PiL, 1978

I can’t let go of a T-shirt from a PiL show in 1989. I’ve held on to a pair of boxer shorts too long because they remind me of a turning point in a relationship (in 1996).

I save old pay stubs, even though they have my SSN on them: it’s a reminder of who I was, where I lived, and how I scraped by with so little, paycheck to paycheck.

I keep a garden weasel I used in a theater production of Hamlet, because it’s where I met my wife, and the garden weasel was used to make a unique sound, when Ophelia went nuts.

We get attached to these things, especially clothes. I still have two coats I purchased at a thrift store in November of 1986, and will likely never let them go. They were used when I bought them, and they are more used now, 27 years later.

Is this why it’s hard to get rid of clothes after you’ve lost a loved one? The clothes still bear the spirit of the person who wore them.

When my first cat died, I wrapped her in one of my favorite shirts from college and buried her in it. I can’t articulate the reason why other than to say, I wanted to comfort her with something that was deeply me, close to me. So she got my shirt.

When I put on an old coat, I’ll often forget about the note or old movie ticket stub I find there, and it teleports me back in time.

The note from a girlfriend, from the first morning I slept at her apartment: she got up to go running before dawn, left me there alone, and wrote on the note something about coffee in the kitchen and a bagel by the fridge. The relationship didn’t get any better from there, but I did keep the note, for some reason.

I have these secrets to remind me of who I am. As with any spirit who inhabits this earth, we spill outside ourselves and take up residence in the corners, in the floorboards, and the dresser drawers.

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The Police: King of Pain

I included a link to this song because I like the refrain, “that’s my soul up there.” And, because I’m sentimental.



Categories: humor, writing

Tags: , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. have a friend who’s a hoarder. like TV show kinda hoarder. like goat paths through the apartment kinda hoarder. the shit he surrounds himself with gives him a sense of security in who he was/is. (not implying you’re a hoarder, of course.) just fascinates me because i run the opposite way… i delight in throwing it all away. it never feels any less present to me.

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    • Yes there’s some psychology aplay here for sure. We have a family member who hoards, and it’s unsettling. I tend to hoard music, but it doesn’t require goat paths. That’s a comical way to put it…thanks for the crack up.

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  2. What a nice post. It shows your sensitive side. : ) I know the guy above must not think it is sensitive..haha

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    • Thanks Alesia – my sensitive side is the part that has my ass on it. I’m normally sitting on it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by again and hope you enjoy this lovely sunset we have on our hands, here.

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  3. just an observation how we all have unique relationships with “stuff.” got this very clearly when my parents died and it was time to clean out the house. my perspective (shared by two siblings) was in start contrast to my other two siblings… one person’s treasure…

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    • I’m so glad this struck a chord with you; gosh we do need to catch up. Didn’t know both your parents had died…I am glad to have reconnected with you. (And I wish I had a photo/thumbnail as good-looking as yours, sport!)

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  4. I believe you and I share more than just blog space…I’ve got discarded broken parts of toys I picked up while running across America, the hotel room slide key thingie from the last time I visited my son (he is laving for Afghanistan in 2 weeks), every note my wife has ever written (regardless of it’s content)…you get the idea…much love to you and yours…be encouraged!

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    • Hi Stephen – much love to you and yours too, thank you for popping by and sharing your bits of stuff with me. I wish your son well in Afghanistan. Had a close friend who did a couple tours myself. It’s nice you keep those notes; I’m sure your wife thinks so too. Enjoy your evening and yours is an encouragement to me…so thank you. – Bill

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