Look! Behold, family, for here are your memories. The hopes, dreams, treatises and random doodles of your last twenty-seven years lies in these boxes, now stacked gently in the main part of our barn. It took three days of labor to extract all this flotsam from its various resting places, but here it lies consolidated for the first time.
O! The journey these boxes had! Bedrooms in Virginia, flats in Hell’s Kitchen, storage units in Durham! From the bottomless dank basement of Beachwood Canyon to the George Michael summer of ’87 in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. And having no other homestead, they came to rest here at the farm some years ago, and like all flora, they became a part of the ecosystem itself, the occasional box drifting in to join the others.
‘Tis true, most of the boxes are mine own. Part of the blessing of archivism is the curse of clutter. But I’ve resolved to do my part, to save or scan what is still emotionally extant, and let the rest finally go. And so I ask the same of you.
Sean: Do you seek your musings of yesteryear, poetry written in math classes, band lyrics festooned with flowers, notes passed to girls who dug The Cramps? It can be found here.
Michelle – hiking narratives carried over the Rocky Mountains, yearbooks with pics of asymmetrical shaved heads, books of theology, boots with mud from the 1990s.
Mom? Oh mom… sadly, no blenders (or two blenders, for that matter), but the usual reams and reams and reams of paper, the cassette tapes of shows loved, the songbooks, the analog tapes that no longer have a master, nor a slave to play them.
Steve, I see pictures of an old girlfriend, pictures of ducks, pictures of pictures; Kent, apparently your ducks have long since been in a row.
Yes, family, you will be given plastic boxes for your keepsakes, and you will always have some shelf space in my barn. As Tessa once remarked about a mutual friend (but she could have been talking about me): “His problem is that he always likes to talk about his own poo-poo, but his saving grace is that he always likes to talk about your poo-poo too.”