Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mysteries of the Past - Unearthed!

Sounds like a new show on National Geographic, eh? Nah.. just what happens when I clean my room. When I was in high school and college, I'd have to clean my room before I could start studying. That didn't survive the 5 year layoff from school, so whatever was on the floor when I started studying this fall stayed there. This whole losing my wallet/ID has left me feeling that I have too much clutter in my life. I had too much junk in my wallet and when I needed to find the proper documents to get a new ID, I had no clue where to look.

I have an unorthodox style of cleaning. I usually go from room to room ADD style when cleaning the house, but since I'm sticking to my bedroom it should be a little easier.. go a little smoother, right? Wrong. I found a magazine and had to read it; I found an envelope of movie/concert/theater/hockey/baseball/soccer tickets that I had to organize; I found old race numbers that I had to put up on the wall; I found old race pictures that I had to flip through; and I had to put another load of laundry in the washer.

One of my first 'finds' was a plastic baggy of goodies. I laid on the floor and dumped out the bag to exam:

-Highschool class ring

-Three prisms - I have bad eyesight and started wearing glasses in kindergarten. I had to do eye exercises and these 3 prisms of different degrees of thickness were supposed to help strengthen my eyes. I'd use one while reading and move it in front of my eye for a few sentences then pull it away - repeat with other eye. I should do them again.

-Bookmark: It's made of yarn and plastic, red and white with a heart at the top. My first girlfriend J made it for me.

-Shrinky dink - It's of 2 fish kissing with smaller fish and bubbles around it. Another item from said girlfriend... from over 10 yrs ago.

-A glow in the dark toy - It's from a box of Capt'n Crunch cereal. Was a bit of a joke with J.

-Bottle opener - This is no ordinary bottle opener, it's one you can mount to a wall. This was on the doorjam between the living room and kitchen of the apartment on Stewart I lived in with J my sophomore yr in college. I actually lived in the dorms but spent more time there. Beneath this opener was an old Maxwell House coffee can to catch the bottle tops. We'd sit across the room and try to fling the tops into the can. I don't think anyone made one in. I keep saying I'll mount this on the

-Pink and black whistle - "Blow the Whistle on Hate Crimes". I got this whistle when I participated in the 1995 pride march in Lansing with J and 3 of her friends. We ended up on the evening news in the background when people in front of us were interviewed. I hadn't come out to my parents yet.

-Six wooden nickels - Okay, so they're not really nickels but they are "good for one free well drink" at the Leroy Razzasque Days. I played in a few softball tournaments in the summer and drank quite a bit, too.

-40th Anniversary Pin - Signifies the 40th anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves World Series. I got this pin at a Brewers v. Braves baseball game in July of 97. I split with J at the end of the school year and met this chick, S, online that lived in Wisconsin. Along with going to see Lilith Fair, I joined her and a bunch of her friends at a baseball game. We tailgated and it poured. Miserable day, trip, and relationship.

-Car keys - The tag on them says "1991 Chev Blazer Black 4x4". This was my first car. I got it my junior yr in college, the fall of 97. I was driving back from Grand Rapids June 98 and it caught fire on the side of the road near Sparta. This, and a nickel that is in the car, were the only things I have left.

-Whole Foods Market pin - I worked at Whole Foods when I was in Ann Arbor May00-Sept01. I had a regular 9-5 while in AA, but was bored on the weekends, so I picked up a part time job working in the grocery department at WFM. The pin is decorative with a plate and silverware in the background and 'Jenny' taped to the bottom.

-Picture of a cyclist.. on a trashbag - After the Blazer I got a 91 Jimmy. In August 01, I turned in my letter of resignation on a Thursday, worked at Whole Foods on Saturday, and drove down to Sylvania Ohio to pick up my race information for a triathlon the next day. I crashed my car. It was in bad shape, but drivable. The back winshield was smashed out and I had to cover it in white trashbags. A chick, A, who lived kiddy corner from me, surprised me one day and drew a stick figure on a bicycle on the trash bags. It lifted my spirits a little bit. I moved out East, we started dating long distance, and it turned out she was a fraud. I still email her off and on and haven't owned a car since then.

-And finally, a one dollar bill. I've had that $1 since I started dating J back in June of 93.. I was 16 and she 19. It was a very rough time in my life - finally admitting to myself, outloud, that I was gay, a new relationship (and having NO CLUE what that included), and my parents finding out via a note before I could tell them myself. Helluva summer. So J and I set this $1 aside and said 'no matter what happens between us - physically, emotionally, parentally - we'll at least have this $1. It's not much, but it's something. Nothing will break us.' Well, we lasted almost 4 years before breaking up, which still stands as my longest relationship. It was a tough split and I took it hard. But I didn't break. As poor as I was, I still had that $1 I refused to spend. I lived on $0.25 granola bars from the vending machine in the College of Business building and corn and rice.

I look at this dollar and everything else from that baggy and realize how far I've come. It holds a lot of memories of my past where both the good and the bad are stirred up. I remember the lazy days of flinging bottletops across the room, yet the pain of three failed relationships are in there, too. I see my past as a failure, but I did not break.

My eyes are drawn to that dollar bill. It's not worth much, but at least it's something. I've come a long way since that $1. I put it back in the baggy and utter my new mantra - I will not break. The world can throw whatever it wants at me, but I will not break. I may sputter at times and have doubts, but I will not break.

I should get back to cleaning.. who knows what else I'll find.


Post a Comment

<< Home