It was several hours after arriving that I finally opened one of the boxes. The aroma of old pencils filled the air as the last bit of packing tape was removed. I knew I would be transported back in time, but I was unprepared for this. My Mom had sent me two boxes of miscellaneous stuff - old things of mine from when I was still living with them (20+ years ago) and stuff from my Dad, who died 10 years ago. This box was mostly his stuff, stuff I had asked for in case she ever wanted/needed the room. His tools from his years as an architect - which of course meant lots of old pencils. And that's what hit me, suddenly I was maybe 10 years old, Dad in the den drawing, and me just standing behind watching. The den filled with cigarette smoke, canisters full of pencils, brushes he had to wipe away eraser dust.
I put the box aside for more than a week, but began digging thru the other one last night. This one had more of my stuff, which included a bag of old letters from my college years. Re-reading some of this was fun, and yet much more heart-wrenching than I had imagined. I'm in touch with none of these folks, despite those strong emotions we expressed so freely by mail. A huge surprise was the handful of what can only be viewed as my first love letters. It's not that I had forgotten the furry young man (his friends called us the "two monkeys"), it's just that I hadn't remembered that after I left school for the summer, he sent love notes! I've put them back away, so no quotes for the time being, but his mispellings, and the hetero Hallmark cards that he sent (there weren't exactly any boy-boy cards available in Mobile, Alabama) were quite sweet, and I feel bad that their existance had completed escaped me.
Anyway, as you can see above, my taste in music was still, um, "forming" - first concert, 1976 at the age of 15, Elton John. Egad!