Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You get what you need

I was searching all around my house Monday night for a couple of books that absolutely refused to be found. Makes me wonder if I’ve loaned them out and now forget just who the hell I gave them to. This really annoys me, almost as much as the tool I loaned a book to back when I was in the Marines. The jackhole didn’t dog ear pages to mark his place, but folded the whole damn page over from corner to spine.

Did I mention it was a hardcover book?


In the course of my futile search I did find two things. One I’ve been looking for more than a month, and the other I’d forgotten I had.

The first thing I found was my 2010 alumni association calendar buried under a pile of papers I’d moved in January. May not seem like much, but just the other day I was looking how much a replacement would cost (btw, $15). Now, without spending the money, I get to look upon the beautiful vistas of Chapel Hill every day. Win-win for me. Almost makes me glad I couldn’t find the book.

Almost, but not quite.

The other thing I found, which I actually found first, was a 2004 world atlas. It was tucked into the corner of my bookshelf, kinda-sorta behind a couple of other things, but not quite totally hidden. Almost as if it was waiting to be found. The atlas was a gift from an old girlfriend, one of those little things you pick up for someone you love that has a special meaning just between the two of you.

In this case – the short version – there’d been an epic day-long road trip involving what may or may not have been an underestimation of the time and distance involved.

When I pulled the slim, blue book off the shelf and flipped through its pages, two sheets of yellow notebook paper slipped out.

Have you ever found an old love letter? I mean finding one by accident when it just kind of pops up unexpectedly? It’s an interesting experience. For me, it brought back all the memories of the time spent with a woman I loved and, to tell the truth, someone I still care very, very deeply about.

More than half a decade down the road, well, I’m still smiling a little after reading, rereading and, yes, reading her words again.

Monday night was a good night.


Liebchen said...

I love finding old love letters. Sometimes old photos will do the trick, too, but there's nothing quite like re-reading someone's words to you.

Alice said...

i think i've only ever received one love letter, and it was a SUPER CREEPY one sent after 1 date where a guy "couldn't work" and "couldn't sleep" because he was thinking of me all the time.

i still kept it, though ;-)

FoggyDew said...

Liebchen - No matter where you're currently at, they show that someone at some time cared enough to write down how they felt.

Alice - Yeah, stalker. I'm hoping you kept it so the police would have a lead. Put it in an envelope labeled "If I disappear, find this guy." But it does show the power you had over that one person.

magnolia said...

when i moved away from my childhood home the first time, my best friend gave me a book. he'd written a little inscription on the inside front cover - faux-mature "words to live by," charming in their overdone seriousness. we were seventeen and thought we were so suave.

when i moved away for good, he gave me a CD - a bootleg recording of a concert we'd gone to, something i mentioned off-hand that i'd like to have. he'd hand-designed the cover art.

i love those little souvenirs, small gestures that say so much about our relationship. that feeling just can't be replaced.

Marielle said...

While I enjoyed the following story, I am most appreciative of the title of your entry and the associations that go with it. Thanks : )

FoggyDew said...

magnolia - sounds like you have a good friend there who really cares about you.

MB - As the man once said, a day without the Stones...

Kate said...

Everytime I "find" the Dead Guys cards and letters he wrote me, I read them and smile and then I "hide" them somewhere else because I know someday I'm going to find them once more and I love that it's such a happy surprise.

FoggyDew said...

Kate - What a wonderful idea. A little surprise for yourself.