I brought one of Mark’s belongings into re-commission the other day.
You know, one of those hallowed material remnants of His life which have been taunting me from the back of the cupboard for the past 23 months.
One of those remnants which, prior to His death, were of negligible importance, but which have now been conferred with Heritage status.
These remnants include:
- shoes (still complete with footprints and a vague lingering whiff)
- clothing (including a pair of slightly-soiled Primark pyjamas)
- a wristwatch that still keeps time
- old bus passes
- shopping lists written in His hand
- an Amazon receipt for a cream-coloured slow-cooker
- and the man-bag I have just exhumed from the attic and decided to use for work.
It felt strange to see the bag back in use, slung over the back of a chair with things in it.
Stranger still was to feel about in its pockets to find a forgotten Metro ticket and a screwed up clump of tissue, presumably still imbued with His DNA. My compulsion to use it, when I have so many handbags of my own, is inexplicable to me, yet it did bring with it a sort of comfort.
It’s difficult to know what to do for the best with the other items, for really, they serve no purpose other than to jab at my heart every time I see them, yet to dispose of them would be somehow irreverential. Even the Amazon receipt, which bears nothing of Him except His name and evidence of what He bought.
The remnant which causes me the most chagrin, aside, of course, from the Contents of The Box Which Must Not Be Mentioned, is His guitar. It is a voluptuous Spanish beauty with whom He was deeply in love.
I opened the case yesterday, just to see it again, and ran my fingers over the fret board and the strings. I realised it has been lying there all these months, slowly going out of tune.