the story of finding something you weren’t looking for

for weeks the charger to my electric screwdriver has been lost. this morning i decided to put a concerted effort into finding that charger. the search was futile. instead, i found this little key

it’s a key to this box; a ‘time capsule’ not intended to be that, but made so only because i had lost the key

a perfect fit and a perfect click of a treasure chest unlocked. the last time this box was open was in my room in doqqi, cairo back in 1988. the only contents i remember it holding were the notes my best friend cathy used to write to me in high school

a lot more stuffed than i’d remembered. what’s under the valentines?

me and santa (c. ’87) on the right and cathy’s notes on the left. buttons in the middle. to this day, i can’t throw away spare buttons, even long after the corresponding piece of garment has been discarded

when i locked this box, i knew that the next time i would see these things was in kuwait. little did i know that it would be over twenty years later. this little card gave me my first dose of aching nostalgia. i still have nightmares about forgetting my locker combination, but the dreams usually fill me with a yearning to go back to those days. to think that the last time this was open i was just eighteen…well, it’s quite emotional

this came as a shock to me. these photos were covered by some notes and that picture of jolly saint nick and me. this is my dad. another pang. as i saw this photo i got a lump in my throat. in my hand was a folded piece of paper. and i had just remembered what it was. a very special letter from my dad

this is the letter; a ‘birthday gift’ to me. it was written on a blue sheet of official embassy paper. notice it’s the embassy of malaysia and not kuwait. back then, kuwait and egypt did not have official diplomatic ties because of egypt’s peace accord with israel, so we were disguised as malaysians!

school photos of friends and various other people in my life (yes, bowie too). this is all i had. i’m sure most kids had way more than this. and this was over a couple of years. let’s just say i was highly selective (actually many of these people were just acquaintances). cathy is on the top right hand corner

lastly, cathy’s notes. i won’t be displaying them here. every note had it’s little plea not to tell anyone ever. and this is ever. so i’m not giving anything away, c

my morning treasure. i’ll take these over a charger any day

and there you have it: the story of finding something you weren’t looking for














5 Comments on “the story of finding something you weren’t looking for”

    • We all have little stories like this in our lives. I felt compelled to share this because it leant itself to being chronicled. I couldn’t bring myself to open the box without photographing the ‘event’. But then again, it could just be my compulsion to Instagram everything.

    • I love boxes and just discovered that I kinda like keys too. A couple of years ago I bought what I can only describe as a key cabinet. i want to eventually fill that with keys from my past. It would make a great story I think. I need to think it through though. Maybe I’d ask others for their keys and a story for each key. Hmmm…

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