I’m still in the process of tackling the black hole of my closet. I pulled out nearly everything in the closet:
This is most of it, though there’s a separate pile of books, and a small pile of movie posters in tubes. The two piles in the back are donations, and electronic discard.
As part of all this clean-up, I decided to give away two items that came from Desert Storm.
The first was a prayer rug that I purchased at the airport while I was waiting to go home on emergency leave.
The reason I’m donating it to the thrift shop is that so much changed since then. We had September 11, and I was in DC when the Pentagon was hit. I experienced all of that and was terrified and in shock for two weeks. Plus the political climate here is just poisonous…it’s just not something I want contaminating me. And the rug was sitting rolled up in the closet and that’s all it was going to do.
The second thing was a small ceramic Siamese cat. It was given to me by my best friend going into Desert Storm. I believe she gave it to me after the war ended.
The war and an event that happened during the war destroyed her. I watched this bright cheerful friend dip into depression and great anger. A lot of us–the lower enlisted–tried to help her (leadership appeared disconnected to the problem from our level), but she was stuck. She was smoking three packs a day and not taking care of herself. A relationship with a married man finally ended, and she decided to married to a guy she’d known for two weeks–for the reason, “I need a man in my life, and it might as well be him.” This man gave even the male soldiers the creeps. Two weeks after she got married, she was divorced. It was so hard for me to watch, and I found she was dragging me down. I had to quietly separate myself from her. She eventually failed the physical training test multiple times by intent and got kicked out. I have no idea what happened to her.
While I liked the ceramic cat, it also reminded me not of the good times I had with her, but all the bad things when she went downhill.
Sometimes some memories are best left without any reminders.