One of the themes of The Memory Collectors is our relationship to physical objects — the memories, emotions, and power they hold for us. Every week leading up to the book’s release, I’ll share the story of an object that’s special to me.
The tickets to this play were gifted to me by a friend who was unable to attend. I took my daughter, who was only seven at the time and had never experienced live theatre for adults. I worried the show might be too long and the language too confusing. I half-expected we’d have to leave before it was over, but I was wrong. She was enthralled.
I found the stub recently in a box while looking for something else entirely. I don’t remember putting it there and was surprised I still had it. That’s often the case with small paper-based mementos like this. They’re used as bookmarks, or linger in overstuffed wallets, or fall to the backs of desk drawers. Discovering them years later can instantly call up associated memories: the quality of summer afternoon light under the tent, the sound of fans blowing to keep the audience cool, and Puck leaping across the stage in a black tutu and combat boots.
It feels a bit melancholy at the moment to come across a reminder of the joy of a live shared experience. I hope we are getting closer to the day when we can begin collecting such memories again.