I just emptied out one of the large bags from the trunk of my car. The night of the fire, I went through the house with a couple of contractor garbage bags, scooping up the random pieces of my life that still survived. I don't remember doing it at all.
It's like going through a dead person's stuff. I managed to save my savings bonds. I found my Playboy club cufflinks, which belonged to my father. Along with all my other cufflinks, all of them plain geometric shapes like squares or hexagons, all of them plain silver or plain gold, from back in the days when I used to own French cuffed shirts.
I found $85 Canadian dollars. What the hell was I doing with 85 Canadian dollars!?!? They're now worth $69 USD. I can no longer remember.
I found pictures of me taken in 1996, when I was younger and almost handsome. Though I got my first grey hair in 1991, the rest apparently took their time coming in -- in these pictures my hair and beard are a dark, curly, Mediterranean brown. Who is that guy?
I found my collection of watches. In addition to French cuffs, I also had a fairly large collection of watches. I managed to grab two pocket watches and three wrist watches. I no longer wear a watch.
And why, when I was salvaging the remains of my life, did I grab a package of rolling writer pens from Staples? They're great pens, by the way -- you can't get them anymore. But why did I grab a package of pens as if they were as important as savings bonds or silver cufflinks?
That night, I also shoved a toy cardboard telescope into the bag, as well as a metal GI Joe lunchbox full of backup CDs. I do not remember this salvage experience at all. I had completely forgot I owned savings bonds until I opened the bag a few minutes ago.
Anyway, my past life -- at least the trinkets of it - can be squeezed into a leftover cardboard box.