I believe in junk. When I close my eyes, I picture an aged, red barn filled with items from the past. You can smell the dust and almost taste the rust as if your own tongue was made of metal. I believe that junk is more than an accumulation of neglected items: junk is a novel filled with multiple stories from different perspectives.
When I was younger, the concept of “junk” seemed to be split, yellow pencils, stray pennies, misplaced playing cards, candy from Halloween five years ago, and Barbie dolls with buzzed hair. Everyday I would go into my closet, my head bent deep into the corner of my toy trunk, my arm tingling from loss of circulation, and I would search through my “junk” remembering the days that have passed. I came across many items I forgot I owned such as my broken Speak & Spell, small, plastic animals, and worn out Beanie Babies. I would admire these items while sitting cross-legged by my wooden trunk. I would study every item while I replayed every moment we shared. I saw the trunk as something more than what it seemed: it was a vessel of stories– my stories.
Children can become obsessed with picking up random items on the street or even out of garbage cans. Yes, it is just a piece of trash, but how can you not question where it came from, who had it last, where it had been , and how long it had been around? Junk is entitled to questions no matter how “useless” it may seem. I believe we are all attracted to the unknown and junk does exactly this. We count on those times when we come upon something new, wondering what life it had before. Junk has a life and so do we.
As I became older, I threw away all of my junk and put it out on the curb or up in the wasp-ridden attic of our house. My eyes mourned for the stories that were being carried away by green trucks full of banana peels and fresh maggots. Now, I understand the junk collectors and the people who enjoy the antiquated. The throng of memories in these objects leave an impact on the people who come across their mysteries. Tales such as these should not be tucked away because there are people out there that are willing to give junk a second chance.
Today, humans strive to get away from past times to become more connected with what is new now. We have to securely hold these memories before they all disappear. Without junk, life would be predictable. Junk keeps us on edge with the unknown; keeps us alive with stories. I believe in junk because we can always search for it in the back of our closets until our necks become stiff and our arms become numb. Junk never dies and neither do we.