Daily Detritus: Day Seven

Daryl pulled on the drawer handles, yanking the wooden receptacle past an obstruction that made it stick halfway. His father had passed away three weeks earlier and he was just now getting around to clearing out the house. The closets were easy, he didn’t own much, but now he needed to go through the top dresser drawer, a repository of his dad in symbols.

He and his sister had always been curious about that top drawer. While the rest of the dresser held the usual—t-shirts, underwear, shorts, socks—the top drawer seemed to be the catch-all for everything else. He remembered his mom constantly harping on his dad to clean it out, to throw away that “junk,” to make room for... more junk. And now it was his turn to grant his long gone mother’s wishes.

It was full. He could barely get the drawer pulled out far enough to look inside without some of the contents dropping off the side. At first glance it was a mess, a hodgepodge of papers, cards and trinkets, randomly shoved in the space, probably to deal with later. But with no one around to berate him into cleaning it out, his dad just added to the menagerie.

Daryl started pulling the papers from the top layer, mainly old birthday cards and letters, and he tried to focus on the task at hand—to clean the entire drawer—and did not stop to read their contents; he could do that later. He quickly pealed back several layers, dropping them in the brown grocery bag at his feet, and felt he was making good headway. This was going to be easier than he had anticipated.

Then he spotted a small box in the right, front corner. He knew right away what was inside and he wasn’t sure he wanted to look. But he knew he would. He took a deep, cleansing breath and pulled back the lid. Inside were all of his dad’s tie clips. There were at least twenty of varying shapes and sizes. Daryl pushed them around with his finger, reviewing the contents and smiled.

His dad always wore a tie. It didn’t matter the time of day or the state of the weather, he felt a true gentleman was always more presentable in a necktie and he considered himself to be a gentleman. It wasn’t until Daryl’s mom died that he wore them less and less. Daryl chuckled. “Maybe mom was the one he was trying to impress all along.”

He picked up one of the tie clips and held it up for examination. “I think he wore this one at my wedding,” Daryl mused. “Odd how I remember things like that.” He picked up another one and tried to lock in on a time and place to associate it with, but he couldn’t raise up a memory. He fished around in the box and spotted one of his dad’s favorites, a black and gold rectangle that he always felt made him look a little more classy. Daryl leaned forward, resting his arms on the front of the drawer, turning the tie clip over in his hands. “I’m pretty sure he had this one on the day he got arrested...”

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