Expectation – Walk Down Memory Lane
Reality – Realize You Recognize Nothing in the Time Capsule
The author or Sawdust is not responsible for the potential overpower of nostalgic emotion. Every nostalgic reference in this article has existed or does still exist in the modern world, yet some should not return to existence. (I’m looking at you, Skip-It!) The time machine has yet to be invented yet, so these capsules with unrecognizable items that you make are the closest thing to time traveling. Proceed with caution. Brace yourself for the influx of time capsule openings, but be prepared to be confused by the contents of the capsule because you don’t recognize any of its items.
It’s the year 2052 where everyone is questioning whether or not we’re living in a simulation. Are we going to wake up in a goo-pod one day to find out the real world has been taken over by machines like Neo from The Matrix?
Anyway, you decide to walk down, (or stumble down if you find yourself drunkenly reminiscing of your past to a bottle of rose) memory lane and dig through your terrifying basement that teeters between a serial killer’s secret body disposal room and an abandoned storage unit you bought from a former hoarder on Storage Wars.
You’re horrified to find the number of arts and crafts projects kept that you made out of macaroni and your parents, lying straight to your face, saying that “It was beautiful”. (Tell me, how many times did your parents wear that raw pasta jewelry?…yeah, that’s what I thought). After unsuccessfully digging through box after box like playing and continually losing at slots, you finally find the time capsule you made YEARS ago. Hoping to find some nostalgic relief, you open the time capsule to realize you don’t recognize anything you put in the box.
Inside the box, you notice:
1) A pile of rubber bands that take the shapes of places, animals, and things. You wonder if these were the emojis of the 2010s because why on earth would you keep fun silly shaped rubber bands in a time capsule?
2) A candy gemstone ring. You vaguely remember loving these flavored gems as a kid. (Admit it, you threw pretend weddings in the recess yard with these candy rings where you wanted to wed the person who had the same favorite color as you because they really “saw” you for who you are.). You open the wrapper to get a nostalgic taste only to discover the candy gemstone is covered in mold… Yikes!
3) A bundle of pencils packaged, which smell, individually in tubes. You pick up and open the tube labeled “Cinnamon” not realizing you’re about to get smacked with the feeling that you just ingested straight cinnamon from the spice jar like those who participated in the early 2010s Cinnamon Challenge. (At least most food challenges on Tik Tok don’t involve dangerously gagging on food!)
4) A pile of pretty rocks. You pull out a handful of glassy, colorful, patterned rocks from a small little pouch. Not understanding why you put a bunch of pretty rocks in a box full of “memories,” you pull out a small index card from the same pouch as the fancy rocks that reads “Bumble Bee Jasper: Keep your energy ‘buzzing’ even when negative energies always seem to come your way. (Charge in moonlight)” You read through all the index cards of the shiny pebbles like a weekly horoscope determining whether the Mercury Retrograde will tell you that “Your love life will be booming so keep your mind open.” Thus, you find yourself sitting and waiting the whole month for your eviction notice from the Single Community, only to realize you’re still single and you’ve spent the entire month romanticizing the love story of your two backyard squirrels. So much for believing that these rocks were magical…they’re just pretty.
5) An old photograph. You look at the photograph of you with a group of people, but you don’t recognize a single person! You hope to find the names on the back of the photo, but all you find is a reminder, frantically scribbled down, that says “Dr. Appointment –10 am 7/29/18.” Well, guess you’ll never know who those people you did the duck face with are. If you can’t remember the people in a photograph, then don’t even bother trying to match up whose friendship necklace/bracelet you had with who.
6) An odd contraption of a plastic ball attached to a small plastic ring by a short plastic chord. Finally, you dig out what looks like to be some child’s torture chamber device. After fiddling around, like a monkey sent into space who is pressing random buttons in its shuttle, trying to figure out how the contraption works, you eventually decide your foot goes through the plastic ring. You struggle fitting your non-child-sized foot through the ring, like a fat–ass cat being pushed through the cat door that’s slightly too small for them. Once you get your foot through the ring, you begin to try to spin the ball around and jump over the plastic chord as it passes. As you gain momentum and figure out this child’s toy, the ball you’ve been jumping over smacks your ankle like the feeling of a Razor Scooter temporarily severing the nerve connection between your foot and ankle.
After, *painfully* stumbling along memory lane, you close up the box of your past, and promptly stick a “$1 Box” label on to the box for your garage sale tomorrow. As much as you hate to admit it, your partner was right when they said you should get rid of the stuff of yours that your parents dumped at your place after they decided to sell their house and live the 100 square feet Tiny House Nation lifestyle. With all your childhood boxes sorted and cleared out of your basement, you now have space for all those holiday decorations you couldn’t help but purchase (despite protest from your partner because “we have ‘too much’ stuff and ‘no storage’ for it”), but they fit your visionary decoration plan. However, being a sentimental hoarder, this will not be the last time capsule you will make and forget. Until next time!
Lenley Aikin is a Junior Mathematics major who is now working on a time travel machine so she can figure out what these gizmos in her time capsule really are. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.