Today my friend came over wearing a stuffed animal backpack in the shape of an Orca Whale. We sat down and talked for awhile outside, smoking cigarettes and chatting as I watched her lovely hands fumble around his soft kidney-bean shape. Running her fingertips over the shortest coarse hair of his synthetic fur. Holding him close to her chest to fight off her need for a puppy right now. She left him with me when she went back to her car to retrieve something she had forgotten.
So, John (the name she had given to her compartmented companion) and I spent the next few minutes getting acquainted with one another after I had shouted "Don't be surprised if we fall in love while you're gone!" I cradled him in my arms and nuzzled against his negatived-panda-face. As I dropped my chin into his cushion head, I closed my eyes and felt all the unconditional love associated with these stuffed copains, the same sentiment one feels towards his old baby blanket or the emotion experienced at the discovery of forgotten pictures portraying one's youthful or adolescent parents.
I was reminded of Poof-Moo. The only stuffed animal I've kept, that I slept next to habitually. The stuffed cow you gave me on my eighteenth birthday that saw more love and adoration and use and abuse than any other stuffed friend that's ever come into my ownership.
I thought on my love for the Poofster momentarily and shut it off before I could understand the consequences of the emotion rising within me. Instead I remembered that he was sitting up in a storage compartment, in the dark, in solitude (somewhere I never would have left him a few months ago) as I sit out in the sunlight and in fresh air far away from him. In my new life. Where there was no longer room for Poof-Moo much less the memory of some boy I once loved whom that adorable cow represented. Rather than musing too long on what it means to have to constantly reshape my futurevisions and pasthopes as I come of age, I pondered on how much so many of us invest on simple sentimental belongings. The shit you can't get rid of that you keep in the attic of your house or keep nestled in the darkest, dimsal, dusty, cobwebbed corners of your mind.
So whether it's her in some antique piece of jewelry, or my father in an outdated set of keys, or old friends in photobooth pictures, her in a snowglobe, him in a record, or you in some stuffed animal or travel journal or your old clothes, there are just some things I can't throw out, no matter how many spring cleanings I go through. Everything important just ends up sittting on a shelf or in some dusty darkened cobwebbed corner.