An attic full of old books, a beat up record player, socks that never fit. A baseball bat lays next to an Easter basket. I don’t get the point of saving it all.
But then I sit down. The air is hot, stale and smells of sawdust. I reach over and pick up a book. It’s pages are yellowing with age and twisted from years of haphazard storage. The spine cracks as I open it.
Charlie Brown. Snoopy. Peanuts. I can’t help but laugh. The comic strips aren’t new to me. I’ve read this and every other Peanuts book in this attic a hundred times. I’d read them on weekends, on sick days home from school, in the evenings before bed. Every page holds the warms for recognition, of familiarity, of a time before work, family, Facebook and relationships filled my days.
I read a further. The strips aren’t funny, I realize. A few are—I can remember laughing endlessly at several of the pages—but overall they aren’t. What they are instead is a reminder. I wanted to be in those books. I used to pretend I was a pilot, flying a Sopwith Camel, stationed in France, locked in dogfights with the Red Barron over Normandy. I wanted a beagle. I wonder if I knew he would sleep in his doghouse, not on it.
I closed the book, set it down and pick up an old catcher’s mitt. The leather is cracking, but there is still a ball in it, put there to maintain the shape of the pocket. I try to put my hand inside, but the body I’ve grown into doesn’t fit into the echoes of the past. I smile at the hand that rattled inside the same glove so many years ago.
I look around, then slowly rise to my feet. There is so mush here, I could dig for days. Traces of the past are everywhere: high school trophies, basketball cards, a favorite pair of boots now sizes too small. But the hot air is making me uncomfortable, and it’s time to go.
It’s all crap really. I can’t use it. I don’t have room for it. It’s the same worthless nostalgia that hits me again and again, whenever I drive past my old school, see a name from the past in my inbox, hear American Pie on the radio. I shut the door, slide closed the lock. It’s worthless anyway.
Worthless, but I won’t throw it away.
I was cleaning out some of my things and found this piece. I thought it would fit well on here, so I made some minor revisions. I wrote the original in college.