A shoebox can be a great place to keep things;
old things, small things, shiny things, secret things;
things that are big in your heart but tiny in the world
you live in. Those things, to others, even look
insignificant. The undignified way you guard them,
like they don’t matter or are inconsequential,
like they don’t need extra layers of security, is
misleading and ugly to the eyes of the beholder, the
person that finds the fragile carton treasure chest
and confuses it with some type of shallow grave.
No one truly knows the value of forsaken things.
No one really wonders about an object’s history;
why it mattered then, why it matters now, what
to do with those things they consider garbage.
If you ever find an old shoebox hidden somewhere
inside my house, you’ll only find video games from
the 80s and 90s, with layers of dust and rust, a
blanket lovingly placed by years of neglect and
forgetfulness. You’d never think much of them
or the missing consoles that you would need
to play them. You’d never suspect they are
the keys to the secret places I escaped to as
a child; you’d never think they’d lead somewhere
to the virtual worlds I conquered, to the
underground arcade where I might’ve met
you once, even if now we are just strangers.
But I’ve left a treasure map for your quest, if
you wish to follow. For you, my cynic friends
with cynic eyes, I assure you, you’ll probably
find nothing of value; the price labels on the
games are too worn out to be clear and legible.
It is up to you to determine their worth now,
to sell them or keep them, to open or close
the doors to realms of things and nothings
forgotten and discarded as memorabilia.