Thursday, January 10, 2008

A place to keep my stuff

Do you develop irrational attachments to stuff, or is it just me? Big, small, expensive, cheap - it doesn't matter. It's as if the object becomes a sponge that soaks up all the circumstances and meaning that surrounds it and if I get rid of the object, I'll lose that experience. Here are some of the items to which I've been irrationally attached.
  • A pen. There was absolutely nothing special about this pen except that I liked the way it wrote. And then after it quit working, I continued to carry it around with me in my purse. People would ask if I had a pen and I would give it to them, forgetting it didn't work. Everyone was happy when I finally lost it. (The pen, that is. Not my mind. I managed to hang on to that.)

  • A 1991 Volkswagen Jetta I named Jetta the Hut (or Huttie for short). I don't have a driver's license but I did have a girlfriend with a car and I got very used to being driven everywhere. She would even wake up at 5:30 a.m. so she could get me to work in time for my 6:00 a.m. shift. Then someone hit the car and it was unfixable. I was quite sad to go back to the life of walking and taking public transportation everywhere, so I did what was obviously the rational thing and bought her a car. Oh gawd I loved that car. It was boxy and had a crank sunroof and when you put the key in the ignition, it played that little bit of La Cucaracha. It was in such good shape that wherever we would go, strangers would leave notes on our windshield saying that if we ever decided to sell it, we should call them. And then some 15-year-old without a license rear-ended us and the car was written off. When my girlfriend and I went to drop off the car, I was devastated. It was around the same time that we were breaking up and that car symbolized a whole lot of good times together. There were spontaneous car trips and make out sessions and jaunts around the city singing Paul Simon songs at the top of our lungs. As we walked away from the compound, I felt like I was losing all of our good memories and I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.

  • A piece of cement I picked up off the wall around the old part of Quebec City. I was there in 1995 for a month-long course on Quebec politics and I scooped it up one night while partaking in some herbal refreshments with friends. That's right - I got high and stole a piece of the wall around Vieux Quebec. I saw it as a big FUCK YOU to separatism. Eventually, it crumbled in my bag. (Is there delicious symbolism in that? Probably.)

  • A malachite pendant that I bought at the Vancouver Folk Festival. I had an fantastic time there watching all the hippie men wearing dresses and dancing in circles and all the non-straight couples making out under every tree. I saw Ani DiFranco and the amazing Utah Philips and a whack of others I can't remember. One day several months after I returned, I was showering. My sister moved my bath towel out of her way and put it on top of the some jewelry I had on the counter, including the necklace. When I reached from the tub and grabbed my towel, everything fell on the floor and my pendant broke. I was FURIOUS at my sister. I remember snarling at her that I felt like going and breaking something she really loved. She went crying to Mom that I threatened to smash her brand new $1300 flute because of something she didn't even do. Now, I never specified what it was that I wanted to break but to be fair, when I said those words I was picturing myself using her flute as a baseball bat. In my defense, I didn't say I would actually do it. Yes, sometimes I'm horrible. But you still love me, right?
I don't know why I do what I do. I'm not a new age type who believes in auras and energy and transference. I'm an intelligent atheist who knows better than that. However, I'm also a person who still hasn't thrown out those broken pieces of malachite.


  1. You've seen Ani and Utah TWICE? The 06 Regina Folk Festival must have given you deja vu. Lucky!!

  2. I was walking home drunk one night and stole a giant "E" (my first initial)from the apartment complex sign down the street from me. I couldn't exactly hide a half meter high "E" in my purse (also, I don't have a purse), so I ditched it in my friend's car instead. The people living in "Whit Oaks Apartments" probably weren't all that happy with me either.

  3. What's so strange about keeping stuff? I have four boxes in my basement of stuff I had as a kid, including enough Bazooka Joe comics to have earned the "exploding ship and submarine with three torpedoes"....if they didn't run out of them, anyway. :(

    I also have a set of "mineral samples" from Sudbury, despite the fact that A) I have never been to Sudbury (not even on a Saturday night) and B) it contains a sample of "uranium", which I sometimes fear has been irradiating me since i was eight years old.

  4. I've never seen malachite before - it's very pretty.

    I'm about the opposite when it comes to stuff. Stuff stresses me out. I'm very unsentimental and need to get read of anything that becomes clutter.