My most prized possessions are my pictures on my computer and a few things in the nightstand by my bed. They could fit in half a shoebox, maybe less. Probably less.
My dad gave me a little music box when I was about ten years old. It was an old time radio like the 1920’s that played “The Entertainer,” from the movie The Sting. He was in the hospital gift shop and saw it and it reminded him of me because I liked the wittiness of the movie. It was his way of saying, it was a smart movie and you are a smart kid. That was 40+ years ago, and it’s in the nightstand. I didn’t get a lot of gifts from my dad. Not like that. It’s hard to explain. He gave all of us a lot, but my birthday fell during his vacation, so whatever I got as a present usually had to be shared. Mom got me toys for any gift receiving occasion like Christmas or birthday like all the other kids; dad got me this just because.
When I was 13 he searched all over Mexico City for a little toy gun I saw that another kid had. We were on vacation and we were supposed to pick a souvenir from the trip. I didn’t know what good a souvenir was so I wanted a toy. I saw some kid with this great looking little metal gun and I thought that would be a cool. Dad looked everywhere to find one. Everywhere. He found them, though. We ended up with two, a red one and a blue one. They fired little caps but they were really loud. They’re in the nightstand.
I have the watch my wife gave me as a wedding present and a little framed card that has a boat on it, that talks about “the little ship of you and me” – weathering the tough times, the ups and downs, that sort of thing. And another card from her that plays “You Are My Sunshine.” There is no way she will ever know how much those cards mean to me. Except that they are in that drawer.
There are a few pictures of my kid on top of the nightstand. They could be in the nightstand. They belong. That’s what most of the pictures on the computer are, my kid.
That’s it. After my family, that’s what I’d grab in a fire.
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here http://www.amazon.com/Dan-Alatorre/e/B00EUX7HEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1425128559&sr=1-1 and check back often for interesting stuff.