As I sat on my bed, putting the sheets on, I pushed the soft toys to one side. I should get rid of them. I wish I could. But each one has a story attached to it, a series of childish memories. There's an odd collection on my bed. Kazina, my leopard. Given to me by my mum after I helped with the photo albums. Nothing important, but I like that leopard. I can distinctly remember yelling and racing after my sister when she took it. In my head, as a child, I would tell everything to my toys as I hugged them. There's Rabbit. Yes, the one from Winnie the Pooh. A birthday present from a friend from near the beginning of high school. She gave it to me at school and I spent the whole day with Rabbit in my bag. And I wondered why I was unpopular.
There's a monkey wearing a dress I got for my second birthday. I call him Billie now. The dress is truly horrible, the kind only a cross-dressing guy would wear. He resurfaced recently from some hiding place and has since had pride of place in my bed. As a kid, I had a high bed. I mean, I still do. But my old bed was higher. So high I could lie on my back and reach the ceiling. So high, I was above everyone else. So high no one really bothered going into my bed. From an early age I would hide there to escape from the world. Like that morning when someone tried to wake me up, so I put the covers over my head and said I was in the kitchen.
There's a Winnie the Pooh, part of a Christmas present from another friend. Last Christmas. Knowing someone as long as I've known her, you tend not to give up little things. I have scraps of paper with our doodles on, all in a box hidden at the back of my cupboard. There's Taz. From Looney Tunes. I feel like he is my namesake, in a way. One of my many nicknames is Taz. Although that came more from making my original email address, it suits me perfectly. Not that I am a crazy Australian animal. Because of the memories. Those blissful memories of watching Pokemon Movie 2000 on our video, and the short cartoons that came before the actual film. The memories of getting up at 6am to watch a crappy TV show, but trying to sneak back to bed before anyone else got up.
There's a Dalek pajama case, used for something else. Not much to say about that other than the fact that I can accidentally bash it in the middle of the night and its choice of phrases are interesting. The Doctor Who theme, exterminate, you are an enemy of the Daleks... There were others, and for some reason it worries me that I can't remember all their names. The beanie babies, long lost in the sea of time. The chameleon. The various dalmatians, proudly showing to the world my love of 101 Dalmatians. A true classic. The memory of reading the book in class when I was about eight. I had to read a part that said, to paraphrase "Then he tried to feed the puppy the phone and put the bottle to his ear" but I was laughing too much, having already seen that bit.
These memories won't go away if I give the toys away. I just like having them there, for just now at least. My memories of my Barbies, now gone, won't fade. Each one I played with (and I had a large collection) had a specific name. Whether they were based on people I knew or people I wish I knew, I don't know. But I remember Tim and Tom, the brothers but a year or so apart (two or three years old?). I remember Louise, Jennifer, Charlie; all names of girls I had been friends with. Charlie in real life had a lisp. Charlie the Barbie had braces. The older Barbies; Melanie, Melissa... There were two men. One was an average Ken, the other had black hair and a wet suit. And a dolphin. Maybe I'm psycho-analyzing my own childhood, but I feel I didn't care so much about the names of the adult Barbies because as a child, you don't tend to care about the names of adults.
Well, what a wonderful trip down memory lane that was. Might do it again sometime.