Do you ever notice something dumped or dropped in the street and spend a bit of time pondering where it came from and who owns/owned it? An old arm-chair, part of a hand-written letter maybe or, in this case, a full set of clothes, including socks.
No? Just me? Fair enough.
Actually, I know there are at least a few of us that find this sort of thing fascinating because I’ve got the book (but not the t-shirt).
Found, by Davy Rothbart, started as a magazine but was so popular it led to a book being published in 2004 (two more have come since).
They publish “love letters, birthday cards, kids’ homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles– anything that gives a glimpse into someone else’s life”.
I think that’s what I love about finding random things (and maybe even secondhand stuff); the connection they have to other people – whether real or, in most cases, imagined.
The project started when Davy found a note pinned to his car windscreen which was clearly meant for someone else – as it was addressed to Mario. You can read it here. He talked about it with his friends, they talked about it with their friends and soon they had enough found items to create the first edition of the magazine.
According to Wikipedia, Davy often tours America “to share finds and invite others to share their finds with him”. He’s also appeared on tele and radio and has been profiled in The New Yorker. And all from showcasing what some would just throw in the bin without a second thought. Cool huh?
I’m a bit of a magpie but I’ve never really found anything that interesting. The odd photo or postcard tucked in the back of an old book, someone’s GCSE certificates stuffed behind the drawers in the wardrobe of my room in the university halls of residence.
But these clothes…
They make me a bit uneasy. Why would someone leave a perfectly good outfit in the street? Including balled socks? Were they stolen from a washing line? Maybe it was a prank gone wrong? Perhaps they just fell out of someone’s bag or maybe a spurned lover hurled them out of a car window after learning her partner was cheating on her, which would account for the jeans being partly stuck on the hedge.
The next question is what to do about them if they are still there when I next walk by? I have a feeling if I picked them up and took them to a police station they might look at me a bit strangely. I could put them in the charity bin just down the road or give them to the charity shop, if they are dry, but then I think what if someone is coming back for them? In fact, I wonder if that’s what everyone who walks by them has been thinking (it’s a busy road with a school on it) or maybe they just aren’t bothered?
Have you ever found anything interesting? What do you think the story is with the clothes?