Spring Cleaning

Ari - Chico, California
Entered on August 17, 2008

I walk toward the bathroom holding the damp paper towel rolled up in my hands. The room around me is a mess. Old papers, wallets, binders, and goggles litter the floor. The only things that are cleaned and organized are on half my bookcase shelves; the other half, well that’s another story. At this very moment, its spring cleaning time and it’s nearly September, a little late, but all my useless toys and trinkets have to be organized sometime. My shelves are cluttered with them: knickknacks, movies, books, chess sets, models, coins, old dusty Legos I haven’t touch in years, movies, more books, and even more movies. The list goes on and on. Why though? I don’t need some useless crystal dragon, or a kung-fu fighting hamster. But maybe it’s more complicated then a simple need. I believe these things hold memories, old cherished memories.

I own a small, brown phone. It’s nothing special. It has a gold colored dial and if you pick up the receiver, you hear music. It’s actually not a phone. It’s a music box in the shape of a phone. I got it when I was about five when I was in Marion’s apartment. Marion was my nanny. Her room was filled with a collection of music boxes, all different shapes and sizes. The one that stood out the most was the phone, even though it was plain. And one day, she decided to give me the phone. She knew how much I liked that phone and gave it to me with love. The tune has been with me ever since. She is now in her eighties and not feeling well. She has done so much for me and now, every time I see the phone, I think of all the happy memories I’ve had with her.

I walk around my room and I see a small clock with an even smaller bald eagle on top. As I pick it up and cup it in my hands, I remember how it came to me. On the last day of school, when I was in 6th grade, my teacher, Linda Holm, talked about each of her graduating students and gave each of us a parting gift. As she started the first one, everyone avidly stared up at her, wondering who she was talking about. About halfway through that first one, I burst out laughing for I realized she was talking about me. She then gave me the clock with the eagle, telling me that I soared with the eagles.

I look around my room at the mess: clothes everywhere but on my hangers, binders, folders, and CD’s are blocking the carpet from light, and my kung-fu fighting hamster is no where to be found. But while I look around, I see more than a mess; I see laughter, sadness, family, friends, all my memories and me. And the only thing that goes through my head is “Wow! I think I need more shelves.”