I was just going to move the phone. Where it sat on the floor, in the middle of the piles of books, clothes, and other pieces of my life, just wasn’t very accessible. Ironic, because its enormous dial pad was adorned by inch by inch-and-a-quarter numbers. An elephant could use it to dial home. Somehow, I had more doubts as to the abilities of the aged demographic it was targeted toward than the elephant’s.
The problem wasn’t the phone. It was the trio of tennis balls right next to it. If I could just leap to the phone over the pile of belongings I had left on the floor my Sophomore year and not land on the tennis balls, I would be alright. Or maybe it was my Junior year, piles and piles of papers I would never look at again, stacked against the wall, that was the limiting factor. Or the two mattresses from the bunk bed I had disassembled when I was bored. They took up a good chunk of my room and they weren’t even particularly comfortable.
I had to move the phone.
So I had to move the tennis balls. And in order to clear a path to the tennis balls, I had to shift my Sophomore year out of the way, and to really clear a space, I had to get rid of Junior year, too. And while I was at it, I tossed Senior and Freshman year in the trash. My fifth year in college didn’t count – I had checked out by then. I had graduated on time, I was just bogged down by bureaucracy for a year after that.
I bumped into middle school and elementary school and found them a home with college and high school. They had swirled around, vagrant for decades, and only now could I usher all these scraps, like little puppies yipping for attention, into their respective cubby holes. I gave each a reassuring pat on the head before I bid it good night, to be cherished another day. What remained, I simply tossed out. I didn’t have time for memories that didn’t love me back. And I didn’t have time for objects that didn’t have memories associated with them.
I tore down the corkboard in a fit of pique and discovered a hole in the wall that my house uses to breathe. The picture I hung over it flaps idly with the house’s tidal exhalations.
I stood back and looked at the work I’d done. My room stood, empty and barren, like the first time I’d seen it at seven years old.
I lay down in the middle of the blank room and looked up at the ceiling. The tiles were scarred by a sabre blade. Some things, you couldn’t get rid of. You just had to clear your mind, mind your scars, and move on. After all, there was so much more left to do. So many more things, carefully chosen and carefully placed. It was the beginning. Another beginning.
It’s time to start again.
The phone would need a desk to rest on. It was a rather large phone, after all.