How tightly do you hold on to things? I’m not talking about holding on to handrails. Everyone knows you should hold on tightly to handrails, especially in stairwells where the fluorescent bulbs are always flickering, and the stair treads are made out of those slippery glazed tiles that are like walking on ice. No, what I mean is, “How tightly do you hold on to personal possessions?” This can include all kinds of knickknacks, mementos, you name it. You don’t have to admit to being a full-blown hoarder, but many of us have a tough time letting go. I know I do.
I have a car that hasn’t run in almost two years. It’s a great car that I bought in 1998. And I love this car. But it’s dead. The Soviets kept their dead Lenin pumped full of formaldehyde because they loved him. They put him on display because they just couldn’t let him go. I can relate to that. I’m not going to flood my old car with formaldehyde, but it’s a thought. I just hated the idea that the car was defunct, so I finally had it towed in to a local shop, and I have placed it in the hands of the expert. Maybe Frank can resurrect it. If he can’t, I’ll have to find a few gallons of formaldehyde and a glass box big enough to hold a BMW 318i. Maybe the Soviets don’t need their glass box anymore.
Having trouble letting go of things goes far beyond big ticket items like cars. I can’t let go of letters and birthday cards and anything sentimental. My 102-year-old Aunt Gladys is like that too. She has a suitcase full of pictures and cards and all those mushy things aunts keep. She kept a little plastic man I made for her in 1968 up until the day she moved to the assisted living home. This little man I made with my Creepy Crawler set spent over four decades sitting on a shelf in her living room on prominent display. He was probably dusted more often than Lenin was. I know he was loved more than Lenin was.
I was going to advise all of you to “Just let it go,” but on second thought, that’s not such a great idea. Let’s just let it go, okay? The idea, I mean. Just let it go.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.