Take one of the shirts, for example. It was the shirt I was wearing at an actors’ party one night when a vision of loveliness came over and introduced herself with the words ‘Hi, I’m S. I was asking one of the actors who the guy in the check shirt is.’ It was the start of an adventure replete with drama and high emotion. It’s a special memory.
And then there was the desk light. It was a good one, an expensive one, and it illuminated my desk and computer keyboard through many years of writing fiction late into the night, fortified by countless scotches and the sense of fulfilment that comes with creative endeavour. One of the pleasures of writing fiction is that it takes you into endless other worlds where there’s more adventure to be had, not to mention the thrill of having it accepted for publication. So that’s another special memory, and another Thing indelibly connected with it.
I realise that in the greater scheme of things memories are ultimately worthless – I’ve said so often enough – but they’re still friends of sorts, precious friends, and casting their ghosts among the broken rejects of anonymous strangers just doesn’t feel right somehow. It feels disrespectful.