Monday, February 21, 2011

Digging Through My Past

Our basement is a mess.

It is a mass of stuff that we either don't need right now but want to take up north, don't have space for right now but still want to keep, don't need and don't want but have been too lazy to do anything about and, if I'm being totally honest, there is some stuff down there that is still in the box it came to this house in.

We have lived here for 6 years.  I know.  I know.  Unpack already.

I'm faced with two problems when it comes to those unpacked boxes.

The first one is I don't remember what is in these boxes.  I obviously don't need or value what is in those boxes if I haven't opened them yet, haven't needed what ever is in them.

The second is that I need to do something with what is in the box.  But in order to do that I need to OPEN the box.  And I'm afraid if I actually open the box I'll want what is inside.

And trust me, the last thing I need upstairs is more stuff.

You might ask why the box isn't labeled.  Well, you see,  I had moved four times in as many years when those boxes were packed.  I was totally sick of the entire process at that point and didn't label most of the boxes that were packed.  Because we did all the moving on our own, we just moved room by room, each load getting dropped off in the appropriate room.  In the end, as moving goes, there are always stragglers laying around the house, things that didn't really fit in any one room and things that didn't get put in the correct box.
At the end of the day, those boxes didn't get labeled.

They just got dumped in the car and then dumped in the basement with the rest of the stuff we didn't immediately need at the time.

I'd ask my husband to open the box, but then he'd have to come in to the basement.  And then he'd see the mess I made of the mess that was already here.  And then he would start with one of two speeches.  Speech number one is that we should take all the stuff to the dump and be done with it once and for all.  Speech two is that we need to move to a bigger house.

To which I would say "Why, so we have more room for more stuff in boxes I haven't labeled?"

He wouldn't see the humour in that comment.  At all.

So I'm just dealing with the box on my own by putting it underneath a box that IS labeled.  It is full of music cassettes.  HA!  Never going to use those again, but totally can't throw them out yet. How could I possibly throw out my Tiffany and Cindy Lauper tapes????  I'd be lost without them.  Really, I would.

Getting back to the point, I'm cleaning the basement.  And it really has been a lot of fun.  I found a big box of school stuff that my mom had been saving (yes, I get the pack-rack gene from my mother).  In this box I found a binder full of stuff I had written.  Not essays or assignments, but actual stories.  I fancied myself a writer back then, and spend hours in my room writing tales and poems of teens and children, the lives they lived and the challenges they faced.

I even entered one of them to be published in the school literary magazine.  It was a short story, that eventually I turned in to a long story, despite the negative feedback I got from the English teacher who read the submission. Apparently it wasn't realistic enough to be fiction, what ever that means.

I wanted to share the prologue with you. I was really big on prologues and epilogues, not sure why.  But I remember working so hard on this one particular story, and being so proud of the final result.  So here it is, the prologue.  I am writing this exactly as it is on paper, even though I really want to go in and edit it so it sounds better. So while you are reading, please remember this is the writing of  high school student :)

I've been having this dream for as long as I can remember.
It starts with me walking down a long hallway lit by only a few oil lanterns hanging from hooks on the wall.  A door at the end of the hall opens as I approach it. 

The room I enter is large, with big heavy curtains lining one side and mirrors lining the other.  

As I walk in and look around I notice people scattered around in small groups.  I can't see any of their faces, even though I'm trying hard to pull them in to focus. 

At the end of the room I see one man stand and start to talk, but I can't understand what he is saying.  I can feel the tension rise in the room as everyone turns to look at him.

He seems to be talking to one person in particular.  A boy standing off to his left, and while I can't actually see his face, I know that I know him.  I feel a rush of adrenaline when I notice that the boy seems nervous and unsure of what to do.  He starts to walk towards me and I try to ask him what is going on, but he doesn't respond. My breath quickens as I realize my entire body seems to be disconnected from my mind. 

The boy gets closer and I start panicking.  I try to call out for him to stop, but my mouth is frozen.  It try to run but my body doesn't respond.  

Suddenly, all I see are flames and pain paralyzes me. 

A pain that takes my breath away and ultimately pulls me awake. I'm always screaming when I wake, and can physically feel the pain I felt in my dream.  The pain is so real, it takes me a few second to realize I'm awake and another few minutes to recover.

I don't know what this dream means, or why I have it so frequently.  All I know is it feels very real and I always wake up with a feeling that it is somehow a part of my future. A feeling that it is a part of my soul, even before my physical body has been through it.


Ha, I chuckle now when I read all the dramatics.  I think this story was my favourite because it is about magic, love, betrayal and action, and the heroine is smart and honest and has a real connection with her family.  My other stories were more down to earth stories about every day people.  What ever the reasoning for making this my favourite, I got 13 chapters written for this one, the longest story I had ever written.  I didn't actually finish it though, because I started college and got busy, so I don't know how it ends.  But I still have this crazy connection with the main character, as if I know her.

Ah well, memories of my youth! 

I think I'm going to go and read the next few chapters, to see if I can remember how I wanted this thing to finish.



  1. Finish it. High school or not, I'd read a couple more chapters for sure. It's a good start.

  2. Awww, thanks Deb! I have actually been working on it lately. Ha ha, the rest is not quite as well composed as those first few paragraphs, but I'll post the next bit when I'm done with it! Thanks for your support lovey XOXO

  3. Oh cool :-)I'd really love to read it! And you probably have a little more on your hands than you did when you were a freewheeling teen-ager, lol.