I’ve got one drawer in particular that is nothing but a catch-all drawer. A place to put something that does not have a regular place and probably should be tossed but for some undefined reason begs to be kept a little while longer. That little while longer usually turns into years on end.

Now and then while looking for something and reaching the desperation stage of the search, I remember the catch-all drawer and I go there knowing what I will find yet always finding something I had forgotten – but never the item I am looking for. What should be said here is that I could just empty the contents in next week’s garbage bag and never miss a thing that’s there. At least I think that’s true.

Once that drawer is opened, it’s a lost cause. It’s a rule of life that at that point you are duty bound to pick up each item and remember everything about it. Every single maudlin memory-jogging thing.

The first thing to surface is an ancient roach clip. It’s a string of beads, about the size of a pinto bean, threaded on a piece of blue yarn and ending in a little silver rattle on one end and an alligator clip on the other end. The memories that are drug up at the sight and feel of that little appliance are mostly good but also full of some of the dumbest stuff I ever did. I’m lucky to get out of that period of my life alive.

There is a stack of unrelated photos. I don’t maintain albums. So the photos that come my way end up in a photo box. These pictures are set aside to be “filled” in the photo box later. Hey, a constructive task has emerged from my catch-all drawer episode.

By now, I have forgotten altogether what I was looking for initially and pick up an address book section from an old calendar folder from back in the 80’s. I make a critical error at this point: I began going through the thing page by page, starting at the A’s, naturally.

You already know what’s coming. So many people, once a part of my speed dial community, are now only entries in an old irrelevant address book. At best it’s an historical document that somehow fits into my personal history, and which will obviously become important primary data for my biographer. At it’s moist poignant, it is a reminder of one of life’s most difficult lessons: you can’t maintain every relationship you ever have over a long period of time.

There are a few entries that don’t ring any bells at all. Ah sweet memory lapses. There are a few names that I am quite happy not to have in my life anymore. This tells me that I have indeed learned from my experiences. I am reminded, as I read some of the names that I really should get in touch with them again. I promise to do that soon. There is the listing for the wonderful doctor who fixed both of my cataract clouded eyes and gave me sight again. What a guy. He volunteered to activate his army commission and move to Germany to work on GIs returning from war with damaged eyes. I’m honored to have known him.

By the time I get to the Z’s I am emotionally drained and find that I regret that it is still several hours until cocktail time. I still don’t know what I was looking for.

I wonder if I really could pitch that drawer on the burn pile. Maybe I am not as secure as I thought I was.

1 Comment

  1. I’m impressed IF you only have (1) of these drawers. Haha.No snooping in our drawers when visiting, otherwise be warned, you WILL find more the Uno.Hope you enjoyed cocktail hr…Michelle

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