Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Prompt: Hoarding

People just don’t understand. Well, they didn’t. Now they don’t bother me much anymore. That’s fine with me. I have plenty here to keep me company. Each room is a treasure trove of memory, of possibility. Past and future. What I’ve done. What I could do. Who’s come into my life—and left again. Because everyone leaves. Don’t they?

I can sleep on my own damn bed, thank you very much, and fix meals in my own kitchen. I watch those shows. The ones where people can’t live or move around in their houses anymore because every room is literally packed floor to ceiling. Yeah, too much. I’ve been careful to keep pathways into every room. I have a system. A method to my madness? A map to my treasure.

My family treasures take up the living room and dining room, which stretch across the front of the house. It’s chronological, by family members. Ask me—about anyone. My great grandmother Irene, on my father’s father’s side. She kept journals for over fifty years, written in her spidery script. They don’t teach that kind of pretty handwriting in schools anymore. No one wanted them. But I did. I read them all. It was like a window into another life, another time. She raised four boys on her own, her husband working the rails and away for weeks at a time. She had a lover--the story is buried in there, but I found it. He wanted her to leave her husband, take the boys, start a new life with him. But she couldn’t do it. How can I throw out her story, her life?

Ah, I see that look. I know it—I’ve seen it before. Judgment. You think I’ve thrown out other things--people—to make room for all this. No, that’s not true. They left me. One by one, they left me. And when they did, they opened up space that I had to fill, had to make complete.

So I live in my own little museum, I like to think of it. No visitors come to see the treasures of my life, my family, the times I’ve lived through. That’s all right. I spend my days organizing, cleaning, reading, remembering. And someday, someone will see what I’ve done. Really see it. And appreciate all my effort.


Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle

Schubert's “Moment Musical No.6 in F Minor”

January word count: