Dad’s Collection

Dad kept a collection of Zippo lighters, some with his name engraved on them, a few foreign coins, a number of used stamps, volksmarch pins and medallions, yellowing newspaper clippings, ink-less pens, business cards and old photographs locked in his side-dresser. Since I knew where he hid the key, I’d go in and rummage around to see if he added anything new – which wasn’t very often.

Over the years I came to know every item he had stowed away, though I had no idea what they meant to him or even why he kept them. One such item looked to be a piece of dried and withered leather housed in a small matchbox. For the life of me, I had no idea what it was or why in the world he’d be in possession of something that looked so creepy.

And of course, I couldn’t ask him about it because I wasn’t supposed to be snooping.

Not until my parents, separated and divorced did I have a chance to ask him about the items in his collection. And the one that I was most interested in, of course was the one he had in the matchbox. He pick it up the box, opened it and rolled the thing into my hand.

As he did this I asked, “So, what is it?”

Dad smiled, “Your foreskin.”

“Gross!” I screamed as I quickly handed it back and ran for the bathroom to scrub my hands until they were nearly raw.


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