So, my memory has been messing with me.


A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend and making plans for the upcoming day. I'd probably end up needing his cellphone number to get things coordinated, as I had to feed the cat, who was all alone in our spacious, vacation-emptied house uptown.

My friend made a comment about how his cellphone number wasn't especially catchy (it isn't), which got me thinking.

What if cell-phone service providers actually offered a one-time fee for  a catchy number?

I'm sure a lot of people (or their friends) would be willing to pay to have a number that's easier to remember. I still think it's a good idea. But at the time I pointed out a problem with the idea: people wouldn't exactly be in agreement on what numbers are catchy. I illustrated this with a hypothetical quote.

"I didn't pay 20$ for 467-1237!"

Problem is, that's the exact number I used in my example. And I still remember it. Several weeks later. Argh. At this rate, I'll never forget it. What a bad example.

I really hate this room right now. I'm not going to say "my room" because everything that made it mine is gone now, packed into neat little boxes. The blank white walls are stark and barren, free of any emotion, any feeling, any signs of life. Aside from the cluttered bed in the middle of the room, it is the very picture of banality. It took me ages to finally arrange this room the way I wanted, to make it mine. But it only took a few hours to tear all the pictures off of the walls, all the essays, all the mementos. Hundreds of memories, falling from the walls... Now I have no where to go, no private place to hide from the incessant noise of change.

I should back up a bit. My parents have decided to do some remolding in our home. We are going to have the walls redone, the ceiling painted, get some trim, put in new doors, and remove the carpeting in almost every room. That's all well and good, but for three weeks, we have no living space other than the kitchen and bathrooms, which won't be altered, because there will be people working in our rooms—tearing up the walls, and floors, spreading plaster all over everything, leaving the smell of mold and wet and damp, and also paint hanging thickly in the air. So today I had to move all my clothes out of the closet, and pack the sum of my material wealth into identical cardboard boxes. Nearly everything I own is out of reach, sealed within these cardboard monstrosities for the next three weeks.

I’ve realized why I hate cleaning my room so much. It reminds me of all the things I’d rather forget about myself: how sloppy I am, how disorganized I can be; I find all the things I’ve forgotten; I realize how few of my things I use; in the end the room is barren and I feel like a fool. I found all the books that I never got around to reading.

But what really got to me was taking all the papers off of the walls. I never realized how much those silly scraps of paper meant to me. An essay about my grandmother and her pecan caramel rolls. Letters from my brother, proof that he loves me. The two drawings I’m actually proud of. A postcard from Reed College. A few of my best literature essays. The drawing I’ve seen and loved so many times I take it for granted, a gift from my greatest friend. Now all these brightly colored pieces of paper are stowed away in a dark drawer, waiting to be graced by the gentle embrace of the sun. In the meantime the hollow room echoes strangely, a diluted white shadow of its former self.

It’s going to be a long three weeks.

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