i still remember the name and the face and the powdery smell of my third grade teacher who called me down on the playmat. i remember every detail of that moment, chiefly because i'll never forget the way my stomach dropped and my face flushed and i got shaky all over right in the midst of it.
and i still remember the snarky look on the boy's face in high school who mimicked the way i talked over the cafeteria table. and the one who heckled me after my presentation in earth and environmental science in the ninth grade.
and i cry way too often over the smallest things. puppy mills on the news. a song on the radio. kittens on a bridge. a baby i don't know eating a cupcake in a highchair. the list goes on and on, i tell you.
and last night i sorted through a few of my grandpa things. he's still well, and sat a few feet away in his recliner as i looked through old textbooks, college directories, and christmas cards. the idea of my family was that i could use these things in my etsy shop. he didn't say a word as his belongings were gathered into boxes and picked through like an in-home yard sale.
but when i got home with them, i was washed with emotion. that's the best way to say it. just washed.
i can't do it. can't sell the metal detector he made himself, or the old typewriter, or the recipe box of my grandmother's. the sage green planter or the desk lamp. the cassette tape player or the eight-tracks my mama wore out.
sometimes i worry that i feel too deeply. live too much in the moment for my own good. but i suppose i'd rather feel too much than not at all. still, i long to find that off switch. when i can look at that metal detector and only see a thing. just an object. because that's all stuff really is anyway. it's the relationship behind the material that matters.
if ever you see a typewriter in my etsy shop, you'll know i've figured out how to do just that.