Storied Stuff, Facebook, March 5, 2021
Lately I’ve taken up pipe smoking again. It’s a comforting habit, sitting at one’s keyboard gripping a pipe stem with satisfying resolve and expelling great clouds of white smoke like the Vatican announcing the new pope. It’s also a trifle ridiculous, since no one smokes a pipe anymore. It’s gone out of fashion.
That wasn’t the case when I took up the habit in college. Over the years I built up a decent collection including a wonderful meerschaum, the sovereign of pipes. Meerschaums are made from soft white clay and maintain a cool, refreshing smoke right down to the bottom of the bowl. They darken as they age, acquiring a handsome golden patina. Aside from the meerschaum I had perhaps eight or nine other pipes, all attractive and “good smokers.”
But then I stopped. I don’t remember when or why. My collection disappeared too. Did I sell it? Give it away? Unlikely, I’m a hoarder by nature.
When I resumed pipe smoking a couple of years ago, I had to start a new collection. But somewhere around the house, I suspected, the old pipes were still squirreled away, just awaiting discovery. I even dreamt about them. In the dream I opened a door to an obscure closet and discovered a dresser stuffed with long-lost items: gloves, socks, hats. Stashed among them, I was sure, were the pipes!
Alas, there was no forgotten closet (I’ve looked). Still, I keep hoping to stumble into the Dresser of Lost Items. I know it’s around here somewhere!