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