Friday, August 10, 2012
The Detritus of Age
As I rummaged in those drawers I was reminded of the days when I was a child visiting my maternal grandparents. My grandfather was a civil engineer with hobbies and government responsibilities (not that different from my husband's), and as a result the collect-all drawers in his house also held the detritus of technologies past. Fountain pens whose rubber bladders were too old and cracked to hold ink any more. Yellowing forms for use by defunct government agencies. Bright sticks of red sealing wax. Rotted rubber bands that stuck together. Glue made from horsehide, long dried up. And dried up bottles of ink.
The (more or less) modern equivalent of this collection is the junk in our hold-all drawers. My grandfather's were so much more romantic and interesting. Now I just look at this stuff and say to myself, Where does this plug go? What happened to the computer that used to be able to read these floppy disks? What do these rubber feet belong to? Where did the last thirty years go?
What's in your drawers? Does it please you or appall you? Or shouldn't I bring it up at all?