Postcards are my inexpensive souvenirs of choice. I buy them everywhere I go in lieu of gimmicky shot glasses or key chains. Soon I have a collection of dozens — romantic black and white Robert Doisneau photographs, prints of Chagall paintings, and pictures of the Norman countryside in the fall.
Some I put up on my walls, but most I place into books to stumble upon later as I flip through the pages. There is one in The Odyssey, another two in Pride & Prejudice along with a pressed red poppy I picked along the road leading to Clémence’s house. Whenever I read my now battered copy of Postcards from France, it’s like looking through a photo album. I can see myself and my friends in each of the pages, through each of the postcards tucked between them.
I remember exactly when and where I’ve gotten each one. Looking at them takes me back to that moment, that snapshot of my life. I can almost picture what I was wearing and how the air smelled; from this distance, it all looks perfect. And the memories make me happy, even though I might not have been at the time. It’s easy to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind.