Friday, 7 March 2014

The Essence of Sentimental Value.

I made the trip to the tip today and threw away the clear-out things. I didn’t enjoy it. The problem with Things is that they’re associated with other things, less tangible but more precious things, and tearing the two apart comes at a price.

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.

2 comments:

Anthropomorphica said...

I know,it's hard to see shards of your life tossed on a pile. I've regretted throwing certain items out before but it's good to clear and make space. I like burning or burying things but it's not always appropriate.

JJ Beazley said...

Some people seem to find it very easy to throw things away. My ex, the other Mel, is almost obsessed with it. But then, she finds it necessary to constantly re-invent herself. That's why she isn't Helen any more.