Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Where The Demons Lurk

For months now I've been thinking about digging some old manuscripts up from somewhere deep with-in the closet.
I shouldn't have.
It's dark in there, and there are boxes that contain things I haven't looked at in years. It's my past that's in there under the folded cardboard tops, only it's all the stuff that makes me what I am today, so it's my present and future, too. And it's not always pleasant to rummage through, not late at night after a few glasses of wine.
I started out with high hopes. I was going to find a manuscript I put together many years ago, go through it again, show it to a few people, maybe even post it on this site. Instead I found myself with a flat tire, blocking traffic on Memory Lane. I finally found the manuscript, though, dammit, in tact though a little dog-eared. Even managed to find the disks that I had it saved on. They don't work. They're floppy disks, if you remember those, and they're from the early nineties. They've held up about as good as an old Micheal Jackson hit. (Sorry, I couldn't stop myself.)
What confused my was the way various parts of my life have intertwined deep with-in my closet, all without me knowing about it. I swear that some years ago I went through all my stuff and put things into boxes carefully segregated into diffferent decades, but everthing's been mingling amongst themselves when I wasn't looking. I'm going through old Chinese texts and Thai postcards and stuff and out falls a notebook and written on the first page is: Started: 200 Cucumbers, Bed 17, Field 2, May 29th. Or, I've got a stack of newspapers clippings dealing with unemployment in the Reagan administration and out falls my third grade report card. How do these things happen? I thought I had everything neatly compartmentalized, but I find instead an unplanned stew with spices from a dozen different areas and meat from several continents. I thought everything was just where it was supposed to be, neatly labeled on the outside in bold strokes from a magic marker, but what I find are different momentos from my life left to hybridize into something entirely new and different. Books that I read decades apart lay next to each other. Letters sent to me at addresses on different sides of the country share the same rubber band, and at least three different girlfriends have knitted me hats.
A lesser man would cease trying to keep things in order. A lesser man would allow his past to spill out onto the floor in any random order, like leaves cast down by a tea reader. Not I. I believe in string and tightly closed box, and, yes, I believe in magic markers. I'm going to keep everything just where I want it, where it should be and where I can deal with it as I want to. The carefully constructed little reality I made for myself will not be upset by a jumble of things from my past. No. I am what I am, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
Oh, and another thing.
For those of you who were wondering.
Fortune cookies do mold.


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