March 8, 2021:

I hold on to certain objects because they're associated with places or with people I've lost.

I love my two small bookcases. Just two shelves each, light but well-enough made that they've survived sixty years and dozens of moves. They're part of my first home — the first I remember. Our apartment in La Mesa, the one we painted together in the off-brown color she had specially mixed for her at the paint store. She bought those little bookshelves unfinished; we lacquered them together. I remember the smell, and the feel of the brush, and the way the wood became shiny as the lacquer dried. That apartment, and my friends from that neighborhood, were lost when we moved, very emphatically against my wishes, so that she could live closer to a bestie she eventually dropped. Those bookcases preserve part of what was lost. In a small but real way they bring me closer to the friends who were left behind.

I've kept objects which belonged to my mother. Her sewing kit, which fascinated me as a child. A few of her books. Some colorful throw rugs she crocheted. Some cheap paintings she'd owned.

There are a handful of gifts given by ex-girlfriends. The woman is gone, but her gift was meaningful at the time; I keep them in honor of those intentions.

All lost, now. The people, the places. Those portions of a life now largely spent.

It's a little bit sad to realize I've no-one to hand these things on to. They'll probably all end up in a landfill. Where the ghosts they contain will finally be untethered.

Theirs and mine.