The Things We Carry


Some things feel irreplaceable. For Joey, the main character in Tears and Tequila, it’s the four yellow wooden hangers her mother left behind after leaving when Joey was only five.

These yellow wooden hangers are all she has left of her mother. She hasn’t heard from her in the past 27 years. She doesn’t have good memories of her. She barely has any memories at all.

But, for some reason, every time Joey’s moved (and she’s moved a lot) she’s taken those four yellow wooden hangers with her.

I, too, have those yellow wooden hangers. Like Joey, they’ve survived my every move. They’ve traveled with me from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Hudson River Valley to Beverly Hills and now, Sherman Oaks. For some reason I can’t part with them.

Even now, every time I see them, I feel happy. What do they remind me of? Living in a pre-War building on 76th Street and West End Avenue at a sweeter, simpler time? A time when I was a child with doll clothes strewn across my closet floor? When I would fall asleep hearing strains of classical music from the radio in the living room? A feeling of home? Safety? Comfort?

I don’t know the answer. All I know is this. I can’t part with those yellow wooden hangers any more than Joey can.

The things we carry. We’ve all got them.

What are yours?

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