Moving is a weird thing. The tendency is to hold on to the past in the hope that it will somehow take the sublime horror out of the future, and generally it works. Family photos, relics, old love letters, and trophies of one sort or another: they all remind us that if or when we return home, we are not forgotten. Then there is the junk we simply can’t get rid of. When we move, we finally learn how tenaciously we clung to the purely transitory. Piles of receipts tend to be my particular vice. In the past, my excuse was, “Hey, it’s got my credit card info on it. I’ll just take them to a barbecue and throw them into the fire.” Now, I’m paying for everything with cash. Unless I’m buying expensive electronics, I shouldn’t need them; and yet, since I’ve been here, I’ve already accumulated an obscene little pile of wispy paper squares. But, hell, at least I didn’t bring any of them with me, right? The following is the list, mercifully short, of the crap I brought with me in my suitcases for which there is no possible use.
1. Some form of AC adapter, black, fairly new. It came tangled with an HDMI cord that I use to connect my laptop to a television. The two appear to have no relation, however, and I fear that I may simply have brought a cord from a long discarded something.
2. An eraser sculpted and colored like a fresh, pink-frosted donut. Japanese, but Chinese-made, bought in the USA. It’s a kitsch item that I never plan to use for its original intent–although I’m not certain whether these highly detailed erasers are actually intended for erasing. Calling it “crap,” I fear, may offend the person who gave it to me, so I’ll call it a memento.
3. A bar-coded swipe key for a California health club I do not belong to, attached by key ring to a key of unknown use or provenance and a decorative metal bangle. The bangle is missing a faceplate that appeared to once be glued in place. I suspect it was for the Volvo I owned in college, and likely through mistreatment, the faceplate was separated from the bangle. This puts the object in context, but since there are no car keys on it, the purpose of the key remains forgotten. Why I would still have a key ring nearly a decade old is a mystery.
4. A receipt for a bottle of wine I bought for my girlfriend’s dad. Although the wine made the trip in excellent condition, there is no particular reason the receipt should have–yet here it is. It does, however, contain references to credit card information, so it is likely to stay with me until I find some way to incinerate it.
5. A large handful (thirteen?) plastic dinosaurs bought for my cubicle at a Boston publishing company. I remember being very perturbed when someone stole the stegosaurus from my cubicle. I tend to carry them around in my camera bag, lacking any other inspiration for their use. After the above photo was taken, I placed all these objects in my bedside table drawer, and it’s likely they will remain there for some time.
Part 2 of this series will likely require a higher-resolution photo, since it will include all the crap I don’t need that made it into the crate of belongings that is currently crossing the Pacific Ocean on a boat.