Tuesday, August 08, 2006

les choses sérieuses

Wine makes me silly, sentimental, and nostalgic.

I kind of like it, though.

Every time I come home and clean out my closet I find my box of the sentimental fragments I've needlessly saved over the years. Some of the people who sent them are dead, some are out of touch, others have just changed. Most of it isn't particularly romantic, to be honest. Birthday cards. Scraps of paper. Ticket stubs. Mixed tapes, even though I no longer have a working tape deck.

I miss the feeling that little scribblings and scraps are important. I haven't turned bits into things to hold onto for many years. I think that, at this point, I'm holding onto those bits not so much clinging to the people who sent them as the person I was who chose to keep them. If that makes any sense.

Sigh. Everything just seems so inconsequential and ephemeral now. I miss the feeling that my present is significant.

I have a BritRail pass. A mixed tape with Astrid on. A postcard that never quite made it to Pittsburgh. A transatlantic letter on Houghton College stationery (and a card addressed quite cryptically to 'Bea Dermont'). Cartoons on HWS spiral notebook paper. A note from Scotland. Photos of myself holding someone's hand. A fateful number on the back of a setlist. Another, less fateful, written on Marianne Faithful's forehead.

I threw it all in a shoebox more than 3 years ago, and haven't added a thing since, other than a few particularly decent mixed CDs sent in courtship.

Am I that jaded that I want nothing of this time? Paradoxically, I believe I'm happier now than I was back then.

I think it's that unbearable lightness again. Five years ago I was at the whim of a flock of gulls. Now I might be under a glass dome with but four thorns for my defense.

Silly, isn't it?


M Beran said...

Totally unrelated to your post, but I saw these and thought you'd like them. If you haven't been to apartmenttherapy.com before, you should check it out - it's really neat.

C. said...

Neat! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. I keep certain things that hold a certain meaning to me -- love notes, ticket stubs, greeting cards. Every once in awhile I look back at them and my mind travels back to that point in time. It helps me hold on to good memories.