Written so very long ago. I've no desire to polish it any further; simply thought the idea was neat enough throw up here.


It's so tempting to go and scoop it off the shelf, especially tonight when I'm practically inhaling nostalgia. I found my class-ring in an old jewelry box. One moment I was here, rummaging through piles to go to Good Will and the next I was trapped in my room in the old house (you know the one with the paneling), sobbing over the stone and wishing I'd done it better. I threw it out. The ring, I mean. It's only taken ten years. The jewelry box is still going to Good Will. But the nostalgia wafting off of that one thing…I think I'll have to take the bag out. I can't leave it in the house, or all the rooms will reek of it. There will be nowhere to hide.

Perhaps I should have put it in the box. With the shells and the sticker from that one show, a few ticket stubs and bottle caps. Pointless things really, but I gave them purpose. I attached to them memories. Tied them to these things with invisible thread to make the past tangible, always. Of course I regret it now. I wish I could forget beaches and paneled rooms because I still haven't left them, technically. I still haven't let them go.

The chair is creaking as I rock back and forth, mentally pacing. Circling to and from the same desire. I want to open the box. I want to blow the dust from the lid and I want to touch the past. I want to hold my memories and remember being younger and perhaps happier. Surely I wasn't always like this. Surely just a few minutes with those items couldn't hurt, won't break my resolve.

It's frightening how I've set it all up. If I open that box I know what will happen. I've been setting it up for years, I see this clearly now. Gathering tiny bits of your life and snatches of your travels in my mind. Just because I knew you once, that's what I told myself. I've even got your address now. I saw your name printed in bold blue on a crisp white card and couldn't help myself. I chuckled, said "small world". It's in my coat pocket in the hall. It's got your number, the title for your new life. I'd considered calling a few times. Perhaps you'd like to hear from me; perhaps you need a friend. Or more likely you'd find a way to make the conversation brief, giving uncomfortable monosyllabic answers to my many questions. I'd feel the fool and end the call.

The chair creaks, but it is sudden and sharp; not the gentle rhythm I'd established. It startles me and I cease the rocking, and for a moment, thinking of the past. I inhale silence and dust motes and my eyes flick to the clock in the corner.

It's too late for a call, anyway.