“Now this – is where the magic happens”

Albert Einstein contemplated that if a messy desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk indicate. Sitting on my bed, looking at what showed more resemblances to a scene out of Dante’s Inferno than an adult’s bedroom – I couldn’t help but wonder what that would say about me.

With eleven hours to go before my flight, the time had come (and long-gone) to start sorting through the mountains of memories and souvenirs I’ve stockpiled throughout the years and pack my life into a couple of suitcases. That’s right guys and girls, you’ve fallen for my clickbait once again and have found yourselves faced with yet another lengthy episode of how I’m totally fine with moving away and that these aren’t tears, they’re just excess testosterone leakages.

A silver medal from when our Jewish high school basketball team placed second in a predominantly black school borough. A puka shell necklace from that surfer-dude phase I contracted in Venezuela. The white shutter-shades I rocked to that Clubland concert the boys and I went to as such hardcore electropop fans.

No matter how long it’s been, there’s some things you just can’t bring yourself to throw away. Like the leaflet from the online shop I opened that never took off. Or that terrible European Driving Permit I had made for that Christmas party at Rudolph’s when we were sixteen.

Those never-used gifts that grow ancient in our wardrobes. Symbols of people who were once such big parts of our lives. An engraved hip flask. A steel dog tag. A bunch of empty London postcards. Buried in there for the rest of time, refusing to be betrayed and forgotten.

Digging through the memento tomb I had created (- The Sam Rabinovitz Museum as it shall from now on be known), I found reflections, not shiny objects. It was like a director’s cut version of my life, looking into that drawer and revelling in the shadows cast upon each of those items.

It’s rather strange how we develop these emotional attachments to inanimate objects. We find ourselves unable to part with mass-produced junk because of a precious memory it jolts in our heads. It’s as if we believe that getting rid of any of it would effectively erase all recollection of what it meant.

Or maybe it’s simply because our days are so hurried and hectic that sometimes we just need to take a stroll through Memory Lane. To recall those fleeting moments from our pasts. To remind ourselves who we really are.

‘If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that — for that — I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!’

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde


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