28 kilograms.

December 27th, 2014, 4pm

It was 7°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was light.

Twenty eight kilograms. That’s 62 pounds, or 4.4 stone.

It doesn’t seem like much, if we’re talking about twenty eight kilograms of cement, or even twenty eight kilograms of wood for the fireplace. It’s a considerably decent amount of potatoes if you’re stocking up, but definitely not the biggest amount of weight for heavy lifting.

But how about twenty eight kilograms of memories? Is that too heavy? Can this amount be directly converted to years, or life experience? Life value? Somehow weight doesn’t feel like a metric that does it justice, but then again I wonder what does.

This is the amount of physical things I’ve decluttered these past three days, back home at my parents’ house. In 4 black bags, like bodies left behind, it’s all there now. Almost ten years later after I’ve left this house, I couldn’t help but to feel crushed by the bits and pieces from my past lives that I kept sending back to this house. A safe heaven to safely store everything that “I will use again, eventually, somehow, who knows”, I thought.

It feels both liberating and sad. Mostly the first. So instead of taking pictures of some of these possessions, I’ll celebrate them with the best way I know of doing it: using words!

So, among other things, what’s in the black bags of death?

— My first sketchbook , from 5th grade. There’s a terrible doodle of Cátia on the first page, the girl I had a crush on, which I secretly wanted her to find out about. She never did.

— The 3rd prize medal of my first run ever, from 2003.

— All of the train and subway tickets of my 4-week trip around Europe, from 2008. There were about 18 of them… and I almost felt like keeping the daily pass of the Paris’ subway.

— School journals : from 1st to 4th grade. Most of these had the last 10 or 20 pages filled with written messages from colleagues I had mostly forgotten about! Plus a few tic-tac-toes, sometimes classes were boring, you know.

— Eight notepads from college.

— A Pink Floyd, one Jeff Buckley and two Misfits’ posters.

Colouring books from when I was oh so very young. One of them I remember so well, the Peter Pan’s characters one. Somehow along the way I had the brilliant decision of ruining the cover by painting it with awful watercolours, what was I thinking?

— Two poetry books I bought in Slovenia from a girl in the bookshop I wanted to meet (and impress).

— My first digital camera. One megapixel of crappy goodness that allowed me to learn the basics of what ended up becoming a life-long passion. I’m guessing the camera still works, but I didn’t have the guts to try it.

— The ticket from my very first concert, Depeche Mode.

— A few of my favourite Kinder Egg toys, that were still in the same bedroom drawer ever since I was five.

— The Hockey stick from when I played in the city’s team: I was around eleven the last tive I’ve used it. It was given to me by a neighbour who painted it metallic blue because it was his favourite colour.

Disney comic books I haven’t read since I was ten, and yet flipping through it I could still remember how each one of those stories ended.

— The scale model of a Diecast Porsche 959 that I tried for weeks and weeks to get my hands on — ended up convincing my neighbour to trade it for 3 computer games I owned. Worth it.

Mind you, I’m far from being brave. I’m keeping the love letters in a box, and all the other scale model cars that I’ve collected up until a couple of years ago are still safely stored in the attic. I’m not yet ready to let them go — the same goes for books that I’m still attached to, most of them I feel like bringing them with me to London next week. Yes, even the book about the life of Humphrey Bogart that I bought just before I moved and I never got around to read it — I want it by my side.

Come one, Bogart’s a classy one. I’ll just save it for later.

Peter, Shu, Connie, Gonçalo and 12 others said thanks.

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Ricardo Magalhães

Doing whatever possible to soak up what the world has to offer. I try to give something back. Currently working as a web developer in London, but it's the walking, the getting lost, the words and the photography that keep me best company.

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