I hide stuff in a shoe box in my closet. It sits on the top shelf, pushed all the way to the back. It is covered by the teddy bears I used to collect when I was little. It’s a good spot. I mean, no one has ever found it yet. I put important stuff in there, it’s pretty full too. When I am sad or just bored I like to look through it. I lock my door and sit on my bed, removing each item, one by one, taking time to look them over, appreciate them. Nobody appreciates anything anymore.
My grandfather died. He was special to me. I miss him a lot. My shoe box makes me feel better. It feels good to hide things. It feels good to steal things, especially important things. My mom would kill me if she saw some of the things I had in my shoe box. She would scream and yell and her face would get all red. I don’t care. She doesn’t deserve them. She wouldn’t appreciate them the way I do. They are all special to me.
I stole some things from my dad, an old pocket knife, bar matches, a shot glass that says ‘vaginas are awesome’. Most of the stuff though I took from my mom and her relatives. I did it after my grandfather’s funeral.
His gold watch.
His old straight razor, decorated with Chinese lettering.
His bus pass.
His gold lighter.
I hold all the things that used to be his. I feel their weight. I remember.
He kept his passport in the fishbowl on the mantel piece, right next to grandma’s passport. He had his gold watch on when he died. He kept the razor in his bedroom; he never used it because it was a gift from an old friend he said. He kept his bus pass in his wallet. He started using it when he got too old to drive. He kept his gold lighter in his pocket; he used it to light the cigars that he smoked when he played mah-jong with his friends.
Sometimes I hear my mom and her sisters fighting over where their father’s things went. They blame each other. Accuse one another of stealing, ruining their relationships. I don’t care. They would never have appreciated them the way I do.
They were his things and now they are mine. I keep them secret.