Thursday, April 11, 2002

Yesterday is today

Wow, what a crazy day. I swung home a little late because Kyndall is on a tour. This whole week has been late nights and early mornings. It's strange how things revert to near-bachelor days so fast.
Anyway, here's why this is such a day. I swing home and poke in the garage to get a screw driver. I am trying to put up a belt hook I bought a few nights ago at Loews. Something is keeping me from doing it - and right now, it is typing this.

In the garage, I notice a box that I brought home at Easter from home. My mom is clearing out my room in preparation to make it more baby-friendly; she found stuff and packed it into this box, and somehow I had stalled looking into until now. Wow.

First, I can't imagine anything with such a rich bundle of my life. Everything I went through was just, well, a flash back. This is just an ordinary box, too, no refrigerator box or anything. What a ball to go through.

I started on the bottom. I pulled out everything - as most was packed in shoe boxes - and went through the bottom box. There was my transformer. Remember the one that could go from robot to tape player? Well, there he was, and his robot to cassette friend was with him. Ah, Optimus Prime had my devotion for quite a season.

Totally weird and unexpected was the stomper big-rig trailer. Remember stomper? They were usually trucks, and things that looked like gear shifts were on their roofs. Anyway, what was special about this is that I can remember when I was like 3 or 4 this truck trailer was the last gift (Christmas?)

I received the trailer from Hiram Luttmers. He's the guy who bailed on his fatherly responsibilities for me when I was born. I can remember occasional visits for a while though. Then there was nothing. Nothing. This trailer was unexpected.

Then Phil Collins' Susseudio 45RPM record; it was my very first record, and I can still remember buying it this day. I thought it was surely lost, but there it was - in a Musicland bag. Man, Musicland.

Along the side of the box was a three-ring binder of paper. It was all journals I had written for My Sutherland's English class my sophomore year in High School. Man, I was a genius. Turns out I loved to write, even way back then. Mostly comedy and narrative, but - even then - I had plenty of misused commas.

The second half of that binder was a cartoon series I had created. I completely forgot about it until now. It was centered on a cat and the hundreds of ways I came up with to kill this poor cat. Some were actually clever, and then I had him join the Army and later the Secret Service. It was an interesting series - but I loved to draw even back then.

The next box had a small Ziploc bag. What was in it, you might wonder. It was astonished to remember that I had saved the collar and nick-knacks of my dog Clause after he was hit by a car. When I was younger, I can remember opening and smelling the bag to see if I still recognized the smell of my dog. Needless to say, I don't remember today.

Threatening the Ziploc bag was the protractor I had used in high school geometry. It was a horrible class that I barely passed, and it's only an irony that geometry is a common aspect of my current profession.

The next box up was Russia. How lucky was I to be able to go to Russia as a high school junior? It was People to People - this thing from the Eisenhower foundation that organized an exchange-type thing for American students to get diplomatic tours of the USSR. Can you believe I went to the USSR?

The box was full of little pins, flags, and even a soccer ball that had been deflated. There were all sorts of things. That was a pretty good time of life. Time to be young. Time to be interested in things. Man, I was naive.

On top of the box (and there was more than just this, but I don't want to dwell) was the American flag. I had kept the flag behind my TV in my bedroom at home for years. In 1992, I went to the Republic National Convention and there are all kinds of pens traded at these things. I had pins from Russia, these political pins, and some other pins that just came around. They were all on the flag hanging behind the TV. And there it was, neatly rolled on top of the box.

It's a time of remembering tonight as I read through my journals, smell my dog's collar and hum a little Susseudio. Looking back to High School, I remember how much I didn't like it. But, you know what, who really knows what I was thinking. I was turned around back then so much, who am I now to be so definitive?

What I have learned is that journals and pictures are important if you plan on really remembering much of your past. That's because, as time passes, so does your memory - no way I remember writing all that junk I just read. But I did it. And now, I can peek back in time, and kind of evaluate who I was and where I have come.

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