Remembrance of Things Past

Ever come across something in your possessions that takes you back in time?

While housecleaning, I came across a box of UNO cards filled with scoresheets from my high school days, with names of friends I hadn’t thought about in many years. Strangely, I hadn’t thought about those days in a very long time, but simply reading those names brought those days flooding back, when we used to play Dungeons & Dragons and watch movies that one of my more hyper friends would borrow from his parents, among other things. Isn’t that strange, how a single piece of paper can trigger sudden memories?

Anyone else care to share their “Proust’s Madeleine” moments?

College report cards. 1967-71.

The numbers are appalling, but I remember having better things to do in those days than classwork.

Candy wine and Steppenwolf…

I have a box that I keep specifically for the purpose of holding such treasures. The box itself is a memory, a prize won in a bridal shower game when my dad’s only sister got married. It’s small in size, pink, and used to be strawberry scented.

Inside are things like movie ticket stubs (a great friend took me to see Serenity; because I’d never even heard of Firefly, he later sent me copies of the set, as well as something like 50 movies (and ALL THE STAR WARS MOVIES! and a bunch of James Bond movies I still haven’t watched like 7-8 years later…)), a gas station receipt I got in southern MN during a treacherous snow storm on my way to meet that same friend, a keychain that belonged to my childhood best friend who died when we were teens and other little things from my time with her, bits of paper from the first time my oldest wrote “mom” and his first name, etc. Related to the OP, I have a piece of notebook paper from more than half my life ago, a score card from when my brother and I decided to play a game of Rummy 500 and kept right on playing every day for a solid month. We played to 10,000 and I won.

I have lost all of these people – my Firefly friend to the mists of time and ridiculousness, or whatever; my best friend; my brother to drugs and general shitbaggery; that adorable and sweet little three year old who put too many lines in the E in his name is long gone, replaced by a 10 year old who gives one armed hugs and wears cologne sometimes – and I guess I sort of put my love for them in this box. I love them all anyway, of course, but it’s in the background mostly, in some distant place that I don’t poke around in every day. The memories are always there when I want them though and sometimes I find things in there that I forgot I had and I spend whole days remembering everything I can about the person associated with the Mystery Object.

That box is the one possession I would grab in a fire.

Thanks Silver Fire I needed that today. That was unexpectedly moving.

I too have a box of fairly similar objects but my Proustian moments are always sound-related. Just today my Sonos chose Jane’s Addiction’s Been Caught Stealing and I was instantly, completely transported to a particular seat in a particular pub with my best friend. As I’m a very recent emigre those moments are fairly frequent just now and they’re always bittersweet.

College transcripts. When I see my old ones, I remember each class along with the general tomfoolery that often came after class.

When my parents were moved to a nursing home and their house had to be cleaned out, one of the cleaners found my old scrapbook from high school and college and saved it for me.

Lots of good times to remember in there - there are event tickets, playbills, greeting cards, a receipt for an airline ticket for my very first visit to NYC (made even more exciting as I was meeting someone there who was very special to me at the time), news clippings and so on.

There are also some bittersweet memories of relationships that didn’t work out and some sadness for people whose lives I know did not turn out the way I (or they) wish they had.

I am still in touch with a lot of the folks who helped make those memories and every once in awhile I’ll pull something from the book to post on Facebook or to share in person when we get the chance to meet up. I’m glad it didn’t just get thrown in the trash!