I know it is supposed to be better to have loved and lost, yadda yadda yadda. But the possibility to have loved, lost, and have a second chance is pretty good, too. There's always the possibility that it wouldn't be as good as the first time, but hey, that's why they invented "it's not you, it's me" (two "Seinfield" references in there, got that?).
This adage also applies to inanimate objects, or as most people call it, stuff. There's plenty of stuff I have loved and lost over the years. Some of it I can recall losing; some of the fates remain unknown.
Ah, plastic Fisher Price record player, I know you lived out your days in my cousins' basement, where you probably succumbed to a flood. Smurf big wheel, you were felled by a big rock. Awesome glow-in-the-dark Soundgarden T-shirt, I lent you to my friend Gilbert, but then his mom gave it away to Goodwill. But pink sunglasses I bought in Cleveland, what about you? What gas station bathroom shelf or park bench did I leave you on? Red vinyl pants from my Hot Topic years, where art thou?
As we all know, thanks to the Internet, we never have to not have anything ever again. I could rebuy every childhood toy I ever loved and lost, every book, piece of clothing, every Caboodle or Bedazzler or other words that don't make sense outside of the 80s. I can be an incredibly sentimental person (just ask my basement full of scrunchies and spelling bee trophies), so of course I have taken advantage of a world where nothing is ever really gone.
One target of my nostalgia is the books I read as a kid. The Warren Public Library was the source of many of my formative memories. I still have dreams about that place (and nightmares about the scary suit of armor near the entrance). In the dreams, I scour through sleep-distorted aisles of books in the dream-version of the library looking for the books I used to check out ad nauseum. Even in my dreams, I'm a nerd.
One of my oft-checked-out library books sprung to memory while I was discussing golems with a friend (nerd! nerd!). It was "Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures," and it had all these really cool watercolors of scary minotaurs and ogres and vampires and stuff. I thought, "Gee, the next time I have to explain the difference between a Golem and a Grendel, this book might come in handy!" I also thought about the hours I would spend curled up in my bedroom / bathtub / backseat of parent's car (I read basically anywhere - let's all say it, nerd!) reading that book, and basically any book the library had about ghosts or UFOs or monsters. I checked out the entire series of the Time-Life Mysteries of the Unexplained over and over until my parents got it for me for Christmas. I lugged around an extremely hefty UFO encyclopedia, the obligatory girl series (Mom said "Sweet Valley High" was too racy), and the Time-Life serial killers series that probably earned me a spot on that supposed FBI list.
So, you can imagine my joy when "Encyclopedia of Legendary Creatures" arrived on my doorstep, bought for 99 cents (plus shipping) online, just as dog-eared and well-read as the one I used to borrow. I pored over the awesome drawings I hadn't seen for well over a decade, just as scary as I remembered, and reread the whole thing (it didn't take as long as when I was 11). As an added surprise, there was a stamp from another library on the back cover, meaning some other nerds, er, kids were probably as thrilled and chilled by the book as I was. I guess everything does come full circle. Soundgarden T-shirt, you're next.