I like to pick up a little souvenir in every city I visit, a remembrance, if you will, a way to hold the place a little closer to me.
When I started, I was pretty haphazard about it, a postcard here, a commemorative t-shirt there, a city-opoly game in the next place.
The problems with that, though came down durability and portability. Paper deteriorates, board games lose their pieces, t-shirts fall apart after a while. They all get hard to carry, and hard to store. I wanted something that would last. I wanted to hold onto those memories for a very long time. I wanted to be able to bring them with me.
It was maybe six, seven cities in that I stumbled upon shot glasses. The ultimate solution. Almost every place has them, they’re amazingly durable, they’re distinctive in some way, and they’ll fit in a pocket if I have to. So now every city I hit, I stop in a rest stop or a souvenir shop, whatever I can find, and pick up two – one for my van, and one for the place back home, sort of a museum. Sort of a mememto… you know. That thing.
I had to go back, of course, to the first six. Now that, that was hell. Not the hardest thing I’ve done in my line of work, not by far, but it still wasn’t easy, retracing my steps, going back into the ruined cities I’d already cased for survivors and supplies, looking for one little glass.
But I like to have a remembrance that I’ve been there. A way to remember these places the way they used to be.
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