The advantage to saving everything and knowing where you’ve put it is that years down the road, you actually still do have it.
This was an assignment I did in September of 2006 for Ms McAssey’s 9th grade English class. We had to describe something in detail, that was the assignment. Just describe something. So I described my room. I wrote what I still consider to be a really eloquent, beautiful piece about growing up and how my room reflected nuances of my childhood and a kind of quiet fear of growing up. I turned it in and got a 50 on it. That’s 50 out of 100.
I guess I forgot to do the back side of the sheet. Isn’t that just magical.
Here it is:
A tall wooden door, stained a dark brown, leads into a chaotic room. All the amenities of organization have been placed about the room, a filing cabinet, boxes upon boxes, and a CD tower. It is obvious simply from a passing glance that these tools have yet to be fully utilized. A desk piled knee high with papers of seemingly no importance rests next to the door. Confused by years of arguments about organization, the owner has forsaken all attempts and papers, not having been needed for years, are crammed onto the miserable surface of the desk.
Upon said desk rests a computer, the newest feature of the room. It represents the need for change. Only three weeks ago the desk and arrangement of the furniture were positioned differently, or maybe, in all probability, less time has passed since the desk’s previous habitation. The computer screen displays a vicious show of flashing color as its speakers blare angry music into the hollow room. But hollow is all the room is, and with nobody there, the music is hollow to. As with anything, the sound is muted by the apathy of the fact that no one hears its message.
Adjacent to the desk rests a tank, its resident making futile attempts to escape through the top of its prison. Though loved and treated well, it only sees the need to break free. Each tear at the metal grates barring the top of the tank becomes exponentially more difficult as exhaustion slowly compiles with the notion of the pain of indignity and that its life may be spent fighting the machine of fate that is so dominant over those who can see no other alternatives.
On the opposite side of the room a nightstand sits next to a bed, its glossy red sheen reflecting the light from the southern sun. A small rug is laid out in a ray of light, lined up with the angle of the rays. The clock on the wall reads two o’clock and a watch, lost long ago begins an incessant alarm that shall not stop for the next sixty seconds. A little brown teddy bear is curled up on the end of the bed. Once loved, this is now meant only to be shoved further away at night until it is jammed between the wall and bed, to be forgotten until the ants take it away piece by piece. Other things at this point in the owner’s life have taken precedence to the bear.
The most important artifact of all, the blanket that once provided security and comfort is now folded and remembered only in dreams as time takes its sacrificed life from the box hidden high in a closet and labeled Childhood Memories into oblivion where all loved objects eventually go.
The light level in the room suddenly dims as a cloud passed under the sun. The bed is wrapped in an elegant array of folds and twists of blanket and sheet. It is pressed up against the wall, and the dressings are wrinkled for the sheets were impossible to tuck behind the wall. Near the luminous nightstand is a dresser where nick-knacks and gadgets are askew over the grey alarm clock. A few trophies and old certificates of silly mediocrities rest on the wall over the dresser.
Useless items that undoubtedly have failed to work any longer rest in corners of the room, not bothered to be taken from their places. A box under the bed is laid open on the floor and some items of minor meaning to their owner are saved for the fear that as soon as they are gone they will be wanted. Old stories, written years ago, lay on the floor. Their writer must have been reminiscing on the old days by finding an outlet in his writing. A plethora of magazines having to do with the hobbies of teenage boys rest on the floor, among them, secret love letter. These are things that are to be put in a box and hidden in the closet until twenty years have gone by. These things will be amusing in twenty years. In truth the box is already half destroyed and will be thrown out with the trash in a week, all these things will be forgotten, in twenty years no one will care. A pair of slippers sit under the night table. They do not fit their owner anymore but upon feeling them anyone can tell that they are of the softest fabric. It is no wonder that they remain there.
The windows are bright again, the cloud has passed. The dark purple blinds are pulled back and a Halloween decoration, taken out months earlier, sits near the window, its skeleton face staring ahead indefinitely. It is a monument to the trials of growing older. The holiday it represents no longer means anything to its owner, but like many things in the room, it represents the fear of letting go of anything, the fear of forgetting memories, the fear of losing childhood.