I can hardly think about my favorite jacket without remembering (still bitterly), the roommate who threw it away in anger. When I see a balloon floating into the sky, I think of an old friend who threatened to attach his wedding band to one end of a string and let the helium guide it away. Sometimes I wonder if I fell in love with Randi after reading an essay she wrote for Marisa’s class (years ago) about the objects that she had lost (as a way of rendering the passing of time and the loss of her house). And so between my own memories and Marisa’s post, I bring you this writing prompt:
If you haven’t written about an object yet (or even if you have), try its afterimage: the object(s) you have lost.
One thought on “A Writing Prompt on Lost Objects for Day 6”
Wow, the first thing that came to my mind was the house I grew up in, the one on Hermosa Drive where I lived from ages 12 – 17 and my parents continued to reside until I was about 40. The loss is not the figurative one that comes with the rite of passage of growing up and leaving the family home but rather a literal loss, the site of that house in October 2005, six weeks after Hurricane Katrina. Some of its walls still stood, but from my vantage point on the street in front of the house, I could see right through it to the back yard, all the way down to the bayou and beyond. The day I saw it–what was left of it, that is–I’d been taking photos of my former “stomping grounds.” By the time I got to our old street, I couldn’t stand to take any more pictures. One house had collapsed into the next all the way up the street. Like dominoes, some might say, but it wasn’t that tidy an effect. The bricks from one house had crumbled into the bricks of another. The yards were littered with people’s ruined belongings. I could describe the physical damage for many paragraphs, but I still haven’t found a way to describe the loss I felt as I stood there. That street, those houses are so often the settings of my writing; a would-be novel bears the name of the street as its title. I fictionalized my neighborhood in that street, and as I stood gaped-jawed and aching, I realized that the “real” setting of my memories and writing was forever gone. I’d never see that street again the way it had been, never get to compare my fictions to its realities. The storm had recreated what had once been world to me.