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2004-10-18 12:56 a.m.

I went by Andie's house over the weekend. She still had a few things of mine that I never got around to picking up in the last year. There was a cordless drill and an Airport Base Station and some other knick knacks.

She also mentioned that she had some postcards for me.

She wasn't there when I arrived at her house. Our mutual friend Katy let me in. Katy was there cleaning the house and was expecting me. The box and the bag of my stuff sat just inside the door in the stereotypically long San Francisco front hallway.

I had somewhere to be, so I grabbed everything—which wasn't much, as I could carry it all in one trip—and I left.

Tonight I finally opened the bag and the box to see what they contained. Just like I thought, there was a drill, a Base Station, and some postcards. I noticed that some of the postcards had been written on already.

The handwriting on the postcards was my own. They were postcards I'd sent to her during my year–long trip around the US—short notes of support; little licks of love; radio waves sent into space by a hopeful scientist of sorts.

And, she'd sent them back.

It stung. I didn't understand. We've been broken up over a year, so I didn't exactly expect her to plaster them on her walls or anything. I would've understood if she'd thrown them away; I would've understood if she'd stashed them away in a box somewhere and not read them for another 25 years, after which she'd throw them away.

But, she sent them back.

What does it mean? Maybe it means everything. Maybe it means nothing. And, what meaning is there except that which our mind attaches to a moment?

Part of me was sad and hurt. Part of me was happy to read them again and revisit those moments. At the same time I cringed. There were parts of me that were clearly very pleased to have forgotten.

But, I have to admit there was something magical about the return of the little paper rectangles covered with various inks. Postcards aren't normally blessed with the technology to be returned to the sender—there's no return address feature. So, it's funny how something as unrelated as shattered love could result in something as incongruous and unexpected as the implementation of a radical new feature for an antique form of communication.

So, now what do I do with them? Where do I file them in my cabinet with the manila folders? Where do I file the old feelings revisited in my heart?