Thursday, 1 April 2010

Treasured Trinkets

Having just moved in with my boyfriend, I love to take pleasure in the little objects he has brought with him. Not the huge pile of books (now nicely adjoined with my collection making it look a little more intelligent) nor the tool set sprawled across the spare bedroom. But the insignificant things:

The egg-shaped pillow on our bed, the little orange ashtray, the Yorkshire tea bags and the HP brown sauce: I smile every time I see them. You may wonder why, when really, in the scheme of things, they make no difference at all.
But I know that if he weren’t here, they wouldn’t be either.
When you think about losing someone close to you, you think of their personal traits: their laugh, how a hug from them can make you feel like everything is going to be OK or the fact that you know they will always be there if you need to speak to them.

When I discovered my Mum was going to die these are the things I thought I wouldn’t be able to live without. But now she’s gone, although I do miss all those things, it’s the tiny things that choke me, the missing items that mean she isn’t still here.
When she had a bath she’d liberally sprinkle talcum powder all over herself, leaving a Mum-shaped shadow on the bathroom floor. And chopsticks! We had so many chopsticks in the kitchen drawer, collected from Chinese restaurants all around the world. There was also her orange and black writing pens, a selection of herbal remedies (which were forced down our throats as children) and a grey fur coat hanging on the hook when you entered the house.

Slowly these things have disappeared. The coat’s stored away, the pens thrown out, the talcum powder is sitting unused on our bathroom shelf and no one seems to know where all the chopsticks have gone.
And if you ever stumble across, say a stray pen or a pot of arnica, they look sad somehow. Dead. As they have no one to love them.
And I know I could take the coat out of storage, wear it, love it and hang it on a hook. Or take a bath and dust myself with the talc. And then the items would be loved. But it wouldn’t be the same.

For the coat on the hook meant that shortly I’d be hearing a call of: “cooeee! Welcome home!” and the talc shadow meant she was in bed, reading and I could slip in beside her for a goodnight cuddle, inhaling that special Johnson’s Baby Powder scent.
So now, in this new house, far away from the empty coat hook and lost chopsticks, I appreciate everything belonging to the one I love.

The little orange ashtray means soon he will be home, smoking a cigarette with his arms loosely draped around me and at bedtime the egg-shaped pillow will come to life, propped behind his bed whilst he reads the latest sci-fi novel.

So next time you’re cleaning the house and scowling about clutter, remember exactly what that mess means: that someone will be returning home soon, for you to wrap your arms round.

3 chit chats:

joteatro said...

That's beautiful my love.
Thank you

H said...

Katie, what a lovely entry.
I'm glad you're writing them again. Xx


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