Letting Go

To those who know me well, it’s no secret that I keep–or as this piece will soon tell you, kept–a score of possessions from my childhood. As an adult, I still have a tendency to save and hold onto just about anything, impractical or otherwise. I’ve tried my best to find a reason as to why I do this, and the best conclusion I’m able to draw is that I attach fond memories to certain material possessions.

Prior to my move to the Pacific Northwest in September of 2013, I boxed away things that wouldn’t fit into my car and stored them at my mom’s apartment. Between my departure and now, many of those things have went missing. I damn near drove myself crazy, asking “why?” over and over again. What did I do to this person? Why did they take my things? The best reason I could come up with is this: People are cruel, people are selfish, and people are fucked up.

I’ll never get these things back, and in the event that I ever have a child, they will never be able to experience the joy these figurines, cards, and games once brought me. However, the memories of those times will still remain. With that, I’d like to say farewell to some old friends.

Farewell, 3 of the 7 Final Fantasy VII figurines I purchased when I was twelve. I’ll never forget receiving money from my dad through Western Union(he lived in Montana at the time, and this was like an allowance) and walking across town to the now-defunct Play-Co Toy store. One day, I happened to see these figurines on the rack and purchased a few on the spot. I asked the clerk which days they’d receive new shipments, and I’d walk back on that specific day. They’d let me go through the box, which was stamped with Japanese writing. It took about two months for me to collect the entire set, and for many years these figurines would be the envy of my nerdy friends and friends of friends. Although the missing figurines can be easily replaced, which I might end up doing, they’ll be nothing more than solid plastic.

Farewell, Kurt Cobain figurines. There were two to the set, and my favorite(Unplugged in NY) was picked clean from my figurine tote. Purchased in my late teenage years from Spencer’s Gifts, these were the first figurines I collected that had realistic detail, all the way down to the dirt on Kurt’s tattered Converse shoes. I recently found out that they commanded a nice amount on the collector’s market. I got rid of the accompanying figurine because I couldn’t stand looking at it any longer, knowing somebody had decided it was their right to take my things. I think I put gas in my car and bought a burrito with the low-balled amount of money I received from selling it to a collectible shop in La Mesa.

Farewell, Final Fantasy Trading Arts figurines. These were also purchased during my late teenage years, although they lacked the detail that NECA had put into their figurines. Then again, how much detail can go into something that is based on hand-drawn, anime-inspired characters? Anyway, I acquired these in a similar way that I had with the Final Fantasy VII figurines. One day, I stopped into Game Crazy–a video game store that was attached to Hollywood Video at the time–and noticed these collectible figurines of Cloud Strife and Sephiroth. I went back over the course of two weeks and purchased Yuna and Rinoa. Each time I went into the store, the same girls worked behind the counter, and each time they were friendly. We talked about games, and I was oblivious to their flirting. I’m still oblivious to flirting.

Farewell, Yu-Gi-Oh card collection. During the end of my junior year in high school, Yu-Gi-Oh had exploded in popularity throughout the United States. Like other kids, I started buying the cards. Over time, I probably accumulated around 2,000 or more cards. My list of rares was massive, and some of them were won as prizes from other players I had beaten. My first “rival” was Tony Vasquez; the younger brother of an old classmate, Sorrina. He would brag about how good he was, how nobody could beat him. I kicked the shit out of him during our first battle and he never lived it down. After that, he beat me countless times until I was able to beef up my deck with powerful cards. The kids in my complex looked up to me/would get mad at me because they thought I was some sort of expert Yu-Gi-Oh player. Eventually, my friend Sean started playing too. I stopped around 2006, but always held onto the cards.

Farewell, Land of the Lost collection. Back in the early 90s, ABC revived Land of the Lost as a Saturday morning show. I was obsessed. It was Christmas of 1992, and we lived in Billings, Montana. Everything I received was mostly Land of the Lost related; the entire Porter family, Stink the orangutan, Tasha the baby dinosaur, that son of a bitch Shung, and the awesome tree house. With some Christmas money, I ended up buying the raft. That tree house would get a lot of use with other figurines over the years, but I eventually stashed it all away in a Super Bowl tote bag my dad bought me. These figurines were with me since I was seven years old. Now, only pieces of the tree house remain in the bag.

Lastly, I’d like to say farewell to my Doom Trooper card collection. When I was about ten or eleven, Jimmy and Jesse had started playing this card game called Doom Trooper. It was based on the once-popular Mutant Chronicles universe. The artwork was sweet, the game was fun, and I wanted in on the action. So, I walked my ass to Play-Co and started buying booster packs. The three of us would go round and round, trading victories, winning with ridiculous methods that only kids could think of. I was obsessed with winning. In fact, I spent much more than they did to construct the perfect deck. Eventually, my Brotherhood deck was nearly unstoppable. We would revisit this game multiple times as we aged, such as during a camping trip to Bishop in 2002. In our twenties, we finally got a hold of Inquisition; an expansion set. Inquisition contained great cards for all of us, but in the end it mostly beefed up my already beefy Brotherhood deck. I was the king.

There were other things missing, but the stuff I listed was laced with sentimental, fond memories of my past. I’ll never know what happened, but I hope they’re at least with a responsible collector who will put them on display. As for the thief, I can only hope that the money received for a lifetime of stolen memories went to a necessary cause, such as a utility bill or rent. May you someday find peace with yourself.

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