I have a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal. I’ve had him since I was six years old; my parents got it for me before we moved to the States (along with a companion Minnie for my sister). He was one of the few toys I brought over, and is the last I’ve kept. I loved to pet him and rub the back of his head, and I still do whenever I see him. As you might imagine, he’s pretty worn in. The black color that’s part of the plastic in his left eye is fading. There’s a tear in his ear, and while it doesn’t quite expose the cardboard (or whatever it is) underneath, you can definitely feel it through the thin fabric. All that’s remaining of his tail is a tiny stub, but that wasn’t due to the ravages of time; no, I thought it looked weird on him as a kid, so I cut it off. Sorry, pal. I still remember how careful I was with those scissors though, making sure to avoid any of the red fabric from his pants.
About ten years ago, after my parents split, my stuff was just kind of scattered here and there. I ended up with my sister’s Minnie. She’s pretty beat up as well. Her lashes are torn, her eyes are fading, and it’s hard to keep her dress in place. I kept an eye on Minnie. It took a while before I even realized that I didn’t have Mickey anymore. My mom and I had moved a few times, and I was afraid he might have been lost for good. The search took years. He turned out to be in my dad’s closet or something. I still remember the moment I got him back. It was in the parking lot of this restaurant, and my dad handed over a trash bag from the trunk of his car – Mickey and a couple of others. I don’t know why Mickey means so much to me. I just know that he does, and that I’m as thankful for him as I am for anything in this world. I keep him at my mom’s place now. So he can be with Minnie. Pluto’s there too.