I’m pretty sure they’re still in the drawer, nine time zones away. Still in one of my old socks, very old, a little boy’s sock from 1952 or so. Lots of them are typical Fifties cat’s-eyes, but lots of them are the older milky white with colored swirls variety. Some are beautiful. I remember playing marbles with them, a circle drawn in the dirt, real Little Rascals stuff. I miss them.
I have a box of old coins too. As a boy, I got a box of Indian-head pennies that had belonged to my pre-deceased maternal grandfather. They came in a very old woman’s nylon stocking box, which fell apart from boyish rough handling; now they’re in a Flagg Brother’s sock box, with lots of additions. Some interesting examples that I got from my paternal grandfather, a giant penny from 1849, it’s almost as big as a manhole cover, a worn out silver half-dime from about the same time, some others. Some silver dollars that I picked up along the line; some silver coins from my own era that I added myself. I miss them.
I’ve always been quite the little hoarder, a vest-pocket Collier brother, I tend to keep the things that are mine if at all possible. Old cameras and cell phones, my own useful items at one time. Poor toilet training, no doubt. I added lots of junk store treasures along the way. Of magazines there are a great number, and comics, all now in sleeves and archive boxes, a great number, a great lot of books. I miss them.
I miss my records. Oh, sure, I have lots of CD’s, but they’re with me in spirit on my computer as I write. (Oh shit, now the record companies will come after me for using my own CD’s illegally.) I miss the records though, the real mechanical contrivances made from vinyl, almost four thousand all together. Original Elvis 45’s, Eddie Cochran’s “Sitting in the Balcony,” lots of old singles, up through LP’s from all eras. I should have a radio show, or, more like, I should have the energy to have a radio show and then do something else with it. Either way, I miss the records.
I was missing my guitars before this current, enforced absence. An unfortunate household accident while cleaning a dangerous ice-chest had previously eliminated one of my more important fretting fingertips. I’ll get back to it someday, I’m no Django Reinhardt, but I’ll figure it out somehow. They’re a beautiful bunch of guitars, though. I miss them.
I have some nice chatchkas there too, far away. A Sigmund and the Sea Monsters lunch box for instance, an Army Barbie and Ken set in the original “Desert Storm” package. Great stuff. I miss my car, and my house, and my now grown up but still very sweet children. I miss my life.
A life lesson, I suppose, life is loss. It’s all still there, I checked in March of this year. My family is still surrounded by me, my stuff. They seem to tolerate it very well, it’s a good sized house. Better than they tolerate me, in person. The stuff hardly annoys them at all.
I have to admit, it hasn’t been all bad, this separation. I was beginning to feel like the archivist of my own life, an unpaid museum administrator. I went through the usual stages of loss, like someone had died, or a marriage had ended. Blah, blah, rage, blah, acceptance, blah, I’d have to look it up to get the whole list. I’ve compensated, and I really don’t miss the stuff so much anymore. It’s freeing in lots of ways.
Anyway, you can’t take it with you.