I went to Chucks house for the first time yesterday.
This was an apartment I used to live in, years ago before I got married. I'd always thought I'd like living alone. I didn't. At that particular time in my life, anyway.
I left things behind. A television. An entertainment center. A bookcase.
I thought that was it. Yesterday I realized there were smaller things. You need to look closely to see the smaller things. My old cutting board. My salt and pepper shakers. Chuck had kept them all this time and had been using them. I liked that.
I don't like the idea of his place being taken apart. I don't want any items removed.
My dog still knew what apartment to go to. When you walk in, you're hit with the smell of Chuck. It's still so strong. It's like he's still there. The apartment doesn't feel sad or empty at all. It feels good. It feels full.
I wanted to take it all in. So I could have the memory. I wanted to look closely. To see the smaller things. Like the picture of me my senior year of high school on display. A dvd of "Breaking Dawn", clearly brought over by his daughter but so out of place for someone like Chuck it made me smile. I noticed the tiny baseball magnet on the fridge. It was the most appropriate thing I could think of to take when asked if I wanted something of his. Partly because baseball and Chuck are synonymous and partly because I only wanted to remove the smallest item from this museum of memories. It's now on our fridge.
Then I remembered to look for the mugs I'd given him for Christmas a few years back. They were so appropriate for him and so unattractive to me in taste that it was kind of a joke gift. I thought I was so funny. But he loved them. So I decided not to reveal the joke. And I found I liked it better this way.
I found them. I took them home. Now I love them.