Public Displays of Affection,

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February 2018 Issue [Readings]

Public Displays of Affection


From descriptions of objects held by the Museum of Broken Relationships, which is located in Zagreb, Croatia, and exhibits mementos submitted anonymously by people around the world. A catalogue of the collection was published last November by Grand Central Publishing.

antique watch

She loved antiques — as long as things were old and didn’t work. That is precisely the reason why we are not together anymore.

magnifying glass

She gave it to me as a remembrance before I left. I never did get why she gave me a magnifying glass, nor did she ever explain what it meant. But she always said she felt small whenever she was around me.

bottle of holy water shaped as the virgin mary

In the summer of 1988 I met my transient lover in Amsterdam. He had a stopover during his travels. He was from Peru and was discovering Europe by train. We met at the Buddha disco. Not long after that we bumped into each other on the street, and he went home with me and stayed for about two months. Suddenly he was gone. I found a goodbye note and this little statue, which he said he had specifically brought from Peru in the hope of meeting a new love. What he didn’t know was that I had once opened his bag and found a whole plastic bag full of these bottles. I never saw him again.

parachute rig

I met him on my first parachute jump. I was scared, but this handsome man, who was my tandem-jump instructor, saved me. Later, he helped teach me to jump solo. We loved each other. Then he died in a parachute accident.


When I moved out, I took the toaster. That’ll show you. How are you going to toast anything now?