I had to put Victoria to sleep. She was my beautiful, red 1989 Nissan 240SX, and a very sentimental object. I only knew her for five months or so— a fall/winter fling— but it was true love. Sometimes I hear about the love of objects referred to as a kind of materialism, when really it’s the exact opposite. What marks the love of objects, of sentimental objects— invested, cathected objects— is precisely that they cannot be reduced to their materiality. No other 1989 240SX, no matter how red, or sweet, would take her place. Real sentimental objects are the stubbornly auratic objects that cause us to care rather than accumulate and spread the love too thin. This might be a good maxim for meting out crap in manageable proportions: love everything you have and keep only what you love.
Then again, there are also significant objects. I bought my new ride off an elderly friend of the family. A 1992 Oldsmobile Royale. It was difficult for her; parting with this vehicle meant the loss of her automobility, a pretty rotten milestone in anybody’s life. She had only driven it ten or eleven miles in a year, and had no particular attachments to the thing itself, materially or sentimentally, but its mere presence in the driveway signified independence and gave her peace. Despite her wishes, I still felt like a con-artist buying it off of her. Look like one too. Anyway, objects: functional, material, sentimental, significant, or… miscellaneous— where I’d probably file the few artifacts left in the crevices of the car (see below).
1 Faded Blue Funeral Home Ice Scraper, with spurious quotations marks.
1 Mechanical Pencil and 1 Comparably Sized Nail
1 Business Card for Antique Clock Repair
1 Pearlescent Travel Toothbrush Set
2 Bags McDonald’s Brand Sugar, 2 Bags of Equal Sweetener, 1 Band-Aid
1 Crown Keychain, good for 25¢ coffee at any Fast Fare or Zippy Mart
(Offer expires June, 1993)