These Things

by Aaron Burch

When I was growing up, the town I lived in was incorporated into a city. Our small piece of a larger whole became a whole unto its own, but I didn’t really know what any of that meant. I was 17, 18 years old. We got our own fire department, police department, city government building. In my high school graphic design class, we tried designing logos for our new city, and the address of the house where I lived, where I’d grown up, where I called home, changed from 2 to 12310. Which isn’t a big thing, but isn’t nothing. It didn’t really otherwise affect me. Maybe because I wasn’t yet a whole unto my own, to overstress the metaphor, but am I now? Are we ever? Who ever knows what to do with these things that both affect us and don’t. These things that have definition but uncertain meaning. These things that stick with us, that we think about as we get older, that become a part of us, even when we’re unsure which part, or what it means, or what it might be doing there.

Aaron Burch is the Founding Editor of Hobart, and the author of the criticism-turned-memoir Stephen King’s The Body and the story collection Backswing.

Artwork by: Simon Goez