CHAPTER ELEVEN: Possible Overload
==In which our hero tires to make sense of things==There is a chest in my garage that contains all sorts of reminders of my past. The ticket shown above is one of them. It's from a date I went on with Number One. The calendar date is pretty obvious. That bit of paper is almost 20 years old. Why do I still have it? I have been asking myself that a lot as I pull one thing after another out of that chest in a reunion induced frenzy. With that come the questions. Why do I still have this? Why did I keep this in the first place? And occasionally, what is this supposed to remind me of? OK, I admit to being a pack rat, but does anyone else still have any of their class schedules from high school? I have two of them. Along with that I have two or three of my high school ID cards. Those are followed by what seems to be an endless stream of junk. Notes from girls, old computer programs, and the decor from inside my locker. Old balloons, newspaper clippings, and a baggie full of salt packets. Does a normal person keep any of this stuff? I get the feeling there is something desperately wrong with me, even more so than usual. And scattered through all this stuff are the odd little bits that don't seem to connect to anything. Ticket stubs and matchbooks, candy canes and earrings. I kept them for a reason. Should I feel bad that I don't remember why now? And who can I possibly share these strange things with? I had intended on taking some of it to the reunion, but who knows if any of the people they have relevance to will even be there. Better question: is it even relevant to me?
The ticket shown above I don't specifically remember, but the event I do. The tickets were given to Number One and I by her parents, and I remember being almost frantically nervous about going with her. I remember wearing a tie. I vaguely remember the event being in some great old stone building. I do remember that one of the events was a member of the opera wandering around the floor where we were all sitting and singing "C'est Moi" form "Die Fledermaus". I remember being covered in nervous sweat while praying that my crappy tan Dodge Omni would make it up Germantown Hill without overheating. I remember Number One saying that it was OK when I had to turn the heat on to bring the water temperature down. I stuttered and stammered and blathered like an idiot when she was close to me. I still have such a pang when I remember how I felt when I was around her. That's why she'll always be Number One. So, I guess I can understand why I kept this.
But why? Does it matter to anyone else? Should it matter to anyone else? The lesson I learned last year seemed to be that what was a big deal to me wasn't diddly to other people. Should it all go into the trash? What kind of dreams will all this stir up? How long will it be before it comes out of the chest again?
Too many questions. Too many disconnected bits swirling around in my head to a backdrop of 80's music. A cigarette and a drink was what made everything better then. Half tempted to see if they might do the trick now.