Eager (if not desperate) for inspiration, I pull out the heavy backpack that, despite having been out of use for the three years since I graduated from high school, is full of books; many of them half empty. Underneath my stock pile of old journals, I come across the box of loose leaf papers I used when a journal wasn’t available during long silences at the call center and another with treasures that I knew I wanted to keep, but would not fit, never mind be necessary or useful, in my eight month trek.
It’s there I find a map of Vienna, written in Italian since I didn’t bother to check the language of the information inside before buying, although the subtitle should have been a pretty good clue. I open it and hope that the jokes that Italian is Spanish with an accent carry some weight, but can understand very little. Oh well- un día. Post cards too. I guess I made it home before they would have.
I pull out my final print-out from my final pay period and quietly smile at how much has changed in the year and a half since my department closed and I decided against reapplying for another position. I find a picture from visiting extended family last summer. The entire family was together for the first time since we moved across the country twelve years ago and most likely the last.
I find myself sitting in a pile of stuff- old glasses, my baptism certificate, the lyrics to RENT each with a story to tell and countless scattered associated memories.
I´ve heard of a guy who kept a database of memories for if you don´t remember, it´s almost like it never happened. Maybe I´ll try that, and then again, maybe not.