My time capsule’s shell is a metal cash box, the kind one uses to hold the change from garage & bake sales, with a standard cylinder lock & key. Once shiny & nickel-plated, the key has since worn down to its brass core (just like me).
None of this is remarkable — except for the fact I carried that key in my pocket everyday these past 25 years.
The key was attached to my key ring, outlasting all sorts of neighboring keys, fobs, and grocery discount cards that came & went over the years. While I occasionally fretted about losing it, I love the momento mori reminder provided by its constant companionship.
Besides this key, there was another I discovered upon opening the time capsule: a winding key for the pendulum clock hanging in the Bruce Hall “Bowling Alley”.
I had forgotten that clock existed. It’s not very prominent, and it didn’t serve any role in my college-era stories. We had to watch YouTube videos of Bruce’s interior in order for me to even recall its location.
We laughed at the sight of this relic, wondering if there was a steady succession of frustrated staff members who never knew the time because they couldn’t ever wind their damned clock!