My first apartment in Manhattan smelled of nostalgia. The smell was similar to an old bookshop meets Katz’s deli. It did have an elevator, and was just blocks from the East Village.
When the elevator doors opened, fluorescent hallway lights and green apartment doors welcomed me to the cocoon. A special box had arrived at my door, on a freezing March evening. It was a care package from my father in California. The box weighed thirty pounds.
I dragged it into my bedroom, and opened it. “Wow, my Mickey Mouse comforter was stuffed inside.” Excitedly, I hugged the worn out comforter.
Back in 1988, it was my childhood, “blanky.” My parents had bought me a whole Mickey Mouse bed set. While all the bedding had been tossed, the comforter remained mostly intact.
The Mickey Mouse comforter provided a sense of warmth. During cold winter nights, I cuddled up to it. It was a part of my youth, which provided much need nostalgia, in the midst of neurosis.
After spending my final three years in Harlem (my favorite neighborhood), I decided to switch careers and coasts. My studio apartment became a maze of boxes. Most of my belongings made it safely to California.
However, the Mickey Mouse comforter remained (I needed some bedding during my last few weeks). Upon my last night, I decided not to stuff the comforter into my suitcase. Instead, I left it behind.
A material object from my childhood was gone forever. I wondered if it was donated to a shelter or simply burned. Regardless, it provided a sense of home and coziness, in tenement crazed, New York City.
Since my relocation to California, I opted not to buy another Mickey Mouse blanket. Instead, I now count sheep in a gorgeous mint green comforter, which perfectly matches my old apartment door in Manhattan.