part one

I am growing up. We all are. The world is growing up and we all can't help but chant, Remember when? Not because we want to be in the past, but because we are old enough to remember when the world was a different place for each of us, and we are learning nostalgia like an art our elementary school teachers were always trying to explain. What they didn't realize is that there was no way we could learn it then, we could only make it, in the full-size body cutout with buttons for eyes and yellow yarn for hair.
Under my bed are two boxes, one box contains things I've saved from my childhood, and one is a stiff white box half-full of photos, rocks, and Bob Dylan song lyrics given to me by the first boy I ever loved. In the first box, hidden in a drawstring, black, velvet bag, in a metal box, is a piece of fools gold the size of a walnut. Every time I see it, feel it's cold weight in my palm, I am reminded that it isn't worth anything. I am reminded of the day in which I both found the fools gold on the playground and felt it at the bottom of my pocket all during math class and English and library time and recess, totally convinced that I would save my family and the same day, when I showed my friend Bethany's mom, and she said, "How sweet, you can't save your family with that, it's not real, it's not worth anything."
I closed it in my fist and never showed it to my parents. I put it in the velvet bag, in the metal box, in the box under my bed, where still it sits, telling me the world is not always what I think it is.
I keep it not only for that reason, but also, because still I love the way it is flat and shiny on some parts, and in others, dull and pebbled like bits of spray-painted gravel. It is beautiful and useless. I love the cold weight in my hand.


Sofia Deyanira said...

I had a similar nostalgic experience just less than an hour ago. I was laying in bed hushing Cara to sleep while Matt was zonked out because he has the aches and sore throat. I looked up at the silver star hanging above the bed and found myself going back in time to my first apartment in the Queen Anne district of Seattle.

The accordion door to the kitchen, the Corduroy button strange wall in the living room, the window which overlooked the puget sound and the city lights, the wierd sun hatch, my roommates and their banter, the ktichen, the feeling of Seattle, all the experiences I had there, I even retraced my footsteps along the daily bus route I used to take,. It was literally a trip down memory lane, which metaphor I now understand the meaning of. I can go there in my mind anytime.

Just like you can hold that piece of fools gold and expand your senses by transcending space and time.

darcie said...

uh...that's heartbreaking. that girl with the big bangs and fuzzy hair just crushed by bethany's mom.

shelly said...

I LOVE this! Thanks for writing these things down, and sharing, Ashley.

Zack said...

I want to hear more about the 2nd box