When I was a kid, I would buy toys and actions figures, put them on a shelf and never open them. I was sure that every toy I bought would be a collectible worth a fortune in the future.
One day I came home, and saw my toddler sister playing with my Tech Deck bike, package torn open, parts all over the floor. I must have had a meltdown, because my mom went right out and bought a brand new Tech Deck bike, in box. We didn’t have much money, but I was a spoiled little shit, and she is an amazing mom.
This morning I was looking through boxes of old stuff, taking a deep dive into nostalgic memories. I opened one, and right there was the Old Tech Deck bike, still in the original box, yellowed-with-age. The glue was barely holding it together, the cardboard was scratched and dented from years of storage and apartment moves.
And the nostalgia quickly turned to guilt.
It was like a guilt, internalized for 15 years, coming out in one forgotten find. And I realized that that the guilt I felt and bottled for so long felt a helluva lot like nostalgia. Nostalgia is a virtual reality of a past that won’t come back. So is guilt.
They’re kinda the same thing.