It’s just an old key from the Reef Hotel on Waikiki. At one time it opened the door to room 862, but not any more. It was probably used for the last time years ago, before the advent of room keys that look like credit cards.
So why do I have it?
Because of what the key to room 862 is for me. A token-one that connects me to Hawaii, to the past. To all things that I don’t have in my everyday life, but wish I did sometimes.
If I toss the key in my bag, it’s likely that I’ll touch it when I reach for my wallet or lip balm. Instantly, the years and miles melt away, and it’s Honolulu, circa 1955.
I like to wonder about who might have stayed in room 862 over the years. Where were they from, and what happy memories did they take home with them from their time spent at the Reef, and Hawaii? What were their names? Their stories? So many secrets that I would love to unlock. Only the key to room 862 can’t unlock those secrets any more than it can open an actual door.
That, I have to leave up to my imagination.
Do you have something that serves as a token of a place or time you want to stay connected to?