Dita Parker

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


We switched master bedrooms, moved from one end of the house to the other. Cleaning up closets I found a novelty box filled with things that hadn't seen the light of day since moving in.

Some souvenirs you ought to keep, baby even. Mementos that take you back with one look or touch, olfactory or auditory triggers to experiences and feelings you were sure cannot be duplicated but there they are, for a moment within your grasp.

I found my set of jacks. They got buried and forgotten because the kids were too young for them the last time the set was out and about. The wee ones are the perfect age now and, best of all, they had never heard of or seen such a thing. I got the pleasure of teaching them a game that required no electricity or even batteries, of sneaking stories from my childhood into the game, and the pleasure of being launched back into those moments.

Some things you should let go, but it's sometimes hard to tell the healthy reminders from the hurtful ones, the shadows that won't let go from the ones you're dragging along yourself. I found such an item with those jacks, a reminder of traits long since tamed, of a woman I never wanted to be again.

This time the item looked like what it had been all along: a self-inflicted punishment. I had left her behind but I had kept a keepsake and of course somewhere deep down there's a layer that is all her, all hers. But I didn't need a token, I had internalized the lesson.

I put the jacks away for another day. I put the item away for good.

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