We were constant borrowers. What we wanted, we only had for an allotment of time, and most of what we thought was ours eventually found its way in the garbage heap, in the donation bin, or abandoned in a storage unit we’d never return to. Our real possessions were the practical things: kitchenware, furniture, clothes, tools, school supplies. Like any good nomadic clan, our subsistence was largely makeshift, and when we moved, we took only what we needed, and whatever else we could carry on our backs. Leaving a trail of cramped apartments, occasional houses, and, once, a single-room office space in San Bernardino county, home was, out of necessity, a state of mind, for it was only in the realm of thought that something like permanence could be established.
Even our toys (a huge box of action figures and the like, collected over years, and more than enough to go around for five siblings – oh, the miniature wars I staged with that miscellany!) were eventually discarded, left in a shed in a stranger’s backyard, for either some random kid’s enjoyment or the rot of wear. Many people still own sentimental items from their childhood: adored playthings, little gifts from a beloved friend, and other such keepsakes that those not very given to nostalgia learn to forsake when maturity hits. I’m a sentimental person, by nature, but I have nothing from my childhood still with me, apart from what I can remember. […]