It never occurred to me how much shit I’ve accumulated over the years till I was rummaging through a neglected closet in a spare bedroom trying to find an old sweater I haven’t worn since metal rods invaded my juvenile teeth. As I skimmed through the myriad of clothes, making a mental note to bring 1/2 to Goodwill, I came across two sweaters juxtaposed together like ghosts from ex-boyfriend’s past. The Hollister sweater on the left was given to me—or more accurately, never given back—by my first love on at a senior picnic. To the right hung a basketball sweater given to me by my first boyfriend. His sewn name stared at me blankly, only to remind me how much I hated the person behind it. It was strange to see them both hanging there, just like that.
I rummaged some more.
I imagined I was now far deep in the Ancient Kingdom of Judah on an archaeological site digging for treasure surreptitiously awaiting my curious fingers to discover. I stood on a step stool and let my hands graze over the dust gathered above my closet until I felt a rectangular prism gravitating towards me. Ah, The Burn Book. I was a freshman at the time when I candidly dedicated a book to all the boys in my life in the stages between puberty and high school. I thought it was a good idea at the time but if someone found the book back in 09’ they’d deem me a crazy girl. Now in 2015, thankfully, the word for crazy girl is feminist. Page one was dedicated to the ex whose name still riled me up. Guy on page 6 is getting engaged any day now. Guy on page 9, yep, still think he’s hot. Omg guy on page 10!!! Oh my Gd.
I rummaged some more.
In the depths of a drawer lay a homemade get well card, a Mumford and Sons ticket stub, a golf score sheet (I won), birthday cards ranging from 09’ through 13’. A plague of pictures, the kind that keep you up at night reminiscing, photo booth pictures, pictures you wouldn’t want your mom to see, pictures of pictures because BBM was a bitch and screenshot wasn’t working. Expired Godiva chocolates—I was beginning to think I was a hoarder. Old spice deodorant; I couldn’t live without his smell. A keychain from Mexico because we were far too naive for I Miss you and I’m Thinking about You. A receipt from an anniversary dinner—I kept it to recollect the good company, not the good food. This entire memorabilia were arbitrary and special given to me by guys from my past. Some things from someone I loved. Some from someone I hate. Some from a rebound. Some from only one date. Some from the guy I still think about from time to time.
My coworkers and I poised a question one day the way Man Repeller's round table discussions are conducted. We were discussing whether or not it’s okay to keep things from Ex-boyfriend’s. What if you’re married and your husband were to see your ex-boyfriend museum? Married or not, do these tangible memories connote you’re unable to let go?
Or could these memories be memories like any others stored in your brain? The kind that stays in your past, suppressed in your subconscious , till something pulls the trigger and you’re reminded.