I wake up, stumble out of bed and look over towards my phone. No messages, and still some time before midday. Winning! Shall I shower? Brush my teeth? Nah, I have no one to see anyway. “Okay,” I think to myself, “Time for another killer day of PhD research.”

But what to do? I pick up my book about the history of Italian cinema. I am up to the chapter about neo-realism. “The neo-realist cinema began in the 1940s…” Okay, no neo-realism for me today, this is all too much. I will critique one of my films!

I wander over to my ‘bookshelf.’ Oh yes, look at it! The top shelf is horror, the next is horror, and the one below it is Italian horror. I scan my eyes over the third shelf for some source of inspiration. The films become a blur. So many to watch, so little time. Well, come on, I need to do something!

I scan further down and notice in all its glory, my folder. I try to resist. You have to study today, you have no time. Well, maybe just a peek.

I slide my folder towards myself. It makes that glorious sound, the sound of nostalgia, of love. I sit at my desk, place my folder down and open it up. Oh yes, there they are. My cards, my beautiful Pokémon cards.

The first page is just incredible. The first nine cards of the Base Set. I heard they are re-issuing it. Well, I still have the entire set anyway, so who cares? There it is, the Charizard card. How you eluded me for so long, until that fateful day at Card Crazy. That booster pack I bought was the best $4.95 I ever spent.


I turn the pages and see the ‘infamous’ Ivysaur card. The exact copy I got in my first ever booster. I scan through the rest of the Base, and then quickly through the boring Jungle set. There they are, the Fossils! Gengar and Haunter, right next to each other. I can barely contain myself. Through the Fossils I go, then on to the Rockets. Ah, the Dark Charizard, possibly the best (or worst) $25 I ever spent. Yes, that is correct, I spent that on one card when I was only 12 years old.

I come to my favourite section of all, the lesser known but far superior era of Pokémon cards. The ‘Neo’ era, said to be the sister-sets of the original Base, Jungle, Fossil, and Rocket sets. Wait, where have I heard Neo before? Oh well. I skim through Neo Generation and land on Neo Discovery. Oh yes, card 13 of 75, ‘Umbreon’. Possibly the most glamourous card I own; the most glorious of the Eeveelutions. The ‘Moonlight Pokémon’ sits appropriately in the moonlight, looking ponderous.

I carefully study the entire Discovery set, which I once bought on eBay, having traded them all away in my youth. I close my book with all kinds of nostalgic, booster pack-related memories running through my head and slide my folder back into its rightful place.

Right, back to… wait. What was I doing again?

Words by Cale Hellyer