Few know it exists. But if you would sink to your knees amongst the clutter and reach back into the depths you’d find the trove, the symbolic skeletons I’ve hung there.
The delicate white dress I wore on our first date. I fell in love for the first time in that dress. I never wore it again. No matter how many times it was washed it is forever wrinkled and limp.
The heavy brown hoodie from a midnight relationship that didn’t see dawn. That smoke-laden zip-up became a blanket on many nights, keeping the chill of loneliness at bay, offering more solace than his arms ever could.
Then there’s the t-shirt. It’s red and white, and I think it was his favorite when he lent it to me in a rain soaked moment of chivalry. That was the first and last time I wanted to tell him “I love you”. A week later I kept his shirt when I wouldn’t keep him.
All of them remain locked away, colored cotton talismans of loves lost and loves discarded. They were spared the ritual bonfire of mementos only to become cleansed and hidden away like a corpse in a morgue, complete with a memory for a toe tag.
Eventually time becomes an embalmer, dehydrating heartbreak of her salty tears, until all that remains is nostalgia, encased in cloth and hung on a wire hanger where few will ever find it.