My mom and I moved out of my grandma and Papa's house when I was 8.
Shortly after I turned 11, we moved to a new city.
Whenever we went back to visit my grandparents, I would steal something.
A pen. A rubberband. A duck coaster.
A tiny piece of the place I couldn't be.
I would take these things home with me in my pocket and when I was alone in my room I would take them out and hold them and cry.
Today Clark found a funny harvest-themed tin in my things. He brought it to me and called it his treasure chest. Inside was wallpaper. Old wallpaper. I took it out and unfolded it. I smiled when I saw it because I knew just what it was.
I was probably six when Papa started stripping the wallpaper in the dining room. I was so distressed that I kept some of it and I made my mom buy me a tin where I could keep it. I folded the old wallpaper up all teary-eyed like and placed it inside, to keep. You know, FOREVER. I guess I was a sentimental child.
When I held that wallpaper this afternoon I felt like I had been keeping it in my pocket for twenty years.
A tiny piece of a place I cannot be.
And it isn't three hours away, it is decades gone and only a handful of people even have the memory that it existed.
I have the memory. And I have the wallpaper.