Lately, I’ve been losing a lot of my stuff. My nails are also growing much slower than they used to, and those two things probably have the same level of deep metaphorical-ness to them, but what the hell, let’s try anyway.
When I was child, I had a GI Joe figure who had a tiny plastic sword. It was like a Samurai sword, straight and flat, and I used to love it more than all the tanks and airplanes that I also had. (Parents trying to assuage guilt by buying toys, and all that. Long story, but I didn’t complain. I had Castle Grayskull too.) I remember the day I lost the sword. It was small, detachable and almost transparent, so it was inevitable. But I cried like child. I still don’t know why it mattered so much.
But ever since, I think, I haven’t been too attached to things. I like them, but I seem to have got over the pre-pubescent madness for shiny toys which is all the rage these days. I never dream of buying gadgets or clothes or bikes, or anything at all. And I don’t stop for a moment to lament the loss of objects.
But recently, after a particularly unlucky streak, I’ve been thinking of all the things I’ve lost over the years. I like to think there’s a guy somewhere, walking around wearing my sneakers, my Benetton jacket and my Ray Bans, listening to my Springsteen albums on my music player, sending embarrassing texts to pretty girls from my Nokia phone, and flicking my Zippo on fire (not an innuendo). He may also have a drawer full of my cassettes, my books, my pencils, my Hot Wheels, my comics, my Sega cartridges, my hard disk full of ‘movies’, and my Sony Discman which was once the envy of my primitive, tape-rewinding peers.
I’ve been thinking about this, because today, I imagine that guy walking around with a newfound hope. I imagine him walking purposefully with his head held comically high; looking at the sad, hopeless people around him with a mix of contempt and pity, thinking he’ll show them how to live a life; looking around at the garbage that surrounds him and smiling, believing he’s meant for something bigger and better.
If you see this guy, could you tell him I’d like my Zippo back, please. It was a gift.