Monday, April 11, 2011

Everybody has a Story...

I was taking a walk and I found a small cardboard box on the corner of the street filled with somebody's stuff.  The word "FREE" was written in large block letters on all four sides of the box with a red Sharpie.

Inside the box were three psychedelic scarves that were slightly shredded and had cigarette burns throughout. There were four romance novels, yellowed with age, from another time, another place, a different century--the 20th century.  There were two small troll dolls who had seen better days, two pairs of very clean, but not exactly new white socks and a deck of cards from the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas.  I counted the cards.  There were only 50 in the deck. And no Jokers.

There were some other assorted items in the box.  A weathered coin purse, a stapler (with no staples) 3 or 4 pens and a Hello Kitty eraser.  I stared at the box for quite awhile.  Longer than I should have.  I didn't want anything that was inside, but I couldn't help thinking about who left all that stuff there. 

Once upon a time, that stuff was new.  Once upon a time someone had wanted those items...perhaps even coveted them.  Now, these things were discarded...thrown willy-nilly into a plain box and left out for anyone to take and do with these things as they pleased.

Every item in that box had a story behind it.  Perhaps not a riveting story, but a story nonetheless.  People are their stuff.  Even if you're a minimalist, it certainly tells a story about who you are.  You don't want any stuff.  How come?  What's that about? I sometimes wish I could be a minimalist...but, alas, I like stuff too much.

Stuff is important.  I have certainly done my share of throwing out my stuff--selling it, giving it away, tossing it out, and once or twice leaving it behind, abandoned on a city street, not unlike this current box.  I would like to think I am more than the sum of my stuff...but the truth is, I mourn things I no longer have every day.  It's just who I am. I hope someone out there is enjoying my old stuff as much as I did.

I left the box behind.  Kept walking.  On the return trip the box was gone.  Did someone take it?  Did the owner have second thoughts and retrieve his or her beloved items?  Those troll dolls definitely needed a home.  I can't help but wonder.  It's my nature to wonder. 

Every piece of stuff we see every day, well, they all have their own story, don't they? What about your stuff?  What tales could it tell? Would you be willing to leave it all behind? Hmmm...I wonder...

7 comments:

Tameka said...

I enjoyed reading this. Now I'm wondering about the box of stuff and who it belonged to. I guess writers are always fascinated with these kinds of things.

Lauren said...

You should have kept the Troll dolls. You could have sold them on e-Bay. I wonder who picked up the box? Now you have all of us thinking about it!

:-)

YogaSavy said...

Interesting! Do I or Should I go back and unearth that box of mine and see what was or is in there?

Lisa said...

Great post. Very slice of life, and leaves you wondering... Thanks for sharing.

Saylor said...

Interesting post about the stuff in the box. It makes one wonder - is this the stuff that the person thought had no monetary value? Certainly the troll dolls had sentimental value - anything worn would have a story. I am always looking for antiques, and the worn out stuff certainly carries more character because it makes me wonder about the history....

MikeB said...

I am back only briefly to reading blogs.

This is wonderfully descriptive writing -- I could see the box and its contents in my mind's eye as I read. Yes, what stories there must be for the objects in the box and for why they were discarded.

I continue to enjoy your writing and your posts.

Thom Brown said...

This is terrific, and I look forward to more. Please keep it up.