Friday, May 26, 2006

Friday Flashback: The Box

I hope you all have a safe Memorial Day weekend. If you get a chance, read Pia's post, the last half of which deals with Memorial Day.

I added a couple of new links tonight. And over the past few weeks have added several. Welcome to my sidebar Sage, Jennifer, Cora, Ms. Sizzle, Lauren, and Carmen. Say hello to them if you have time.

Today's flashback is an entry I wrote one night last year after a power outage. I don't know why I picked it. It's not an entry anyone ever mentions, but I like it. This was originally posted August 18, 2005.

There's a box in the top of a closet. I usually don't go near it. I know what's inside. Cards and letters and photographs. Memories of us.

At first, I would open it up every few months, and sift through the memories. Perhaps I thought it was some sort of therapy. It would hurt. But at the same time, part of me wanted to go back, remember how things were. And then, after awhile, I could only get through one or two or three cards and it would become too painful. The last time I opened it was months ago. Until tonight.

The power went out here a little after 9:00. I lit a few candles. And after a few minutes, I decided to get the box out of the closet. I sat on my bed, opened it up, and by candlelight, began to read.

Valentine's. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Thinking of you cards. Handwritten letters. So many beautiful thoughts. Phrases like "meet me halfway" and "I don't want to lose you." Sometimes I think that I just read right over them then, without really thinking about what she was saying. I almost know I did.

Reading all those words of love and forever, it is still hard to believe that I lost it. Maybe not hard to believe, but to accept. Even now. To look back on something and see so much promise, and know that it is gone. It's not easy. Even now.

Some of the cards and letters are from times when we were having problems or had gotten into an argument. It's hard to read those. To see the pleading in her words. Her apologizing to me. When I should have been the one apologizing to her. Too hard.

After five or six cards, a few pictures, and a letter or two, I can't handle anymore. I close the box and return it to its place in the top of the closet. I notice one corner of the box has split. I think to myself that I will have to tape that up.

Why do I do this to myself? As I said earlier, I keep thinking maybe it is therapeutic. I don't do it often. But maybe I shouldn't look back at all. It opens old wounds and puts that most awful of empty feelings back in the pit of my stomach. And I am back to beating myself up for mistakes I have already paid for.

She and I made our peace. We even became good friends. She has forgiven me. I guess the hardest thing to do sometimes is to forgive yourself. I thought I had.

A few minutes later, the lights came back on. But sometimes it feels like I'm still in the dark.

"Remember me when you're out walking. When the snow falls high outside your door. Late at night when you're not sleeping, and the moonlights falls across your floor. When I can't hurt you anymore..."


  1. I used to have a box like that. Well, I've had several. I always promise myself that I'll stop discarding cards, photos, trinkets from my past relationships... but every time I become involved with someone new, I forget my fondness of the past and throw everything away.

    Then the newest relationship fails...and I regret tossing all of that memorabilia [I have nooooooo idea if I spelled that word correctly] from my old flames.

    I've always liked this post. I like that men, too, have hearts... I suppose you're living proof. Men don't typically cop to keeping a memory box of "her". It's refreshing to hear [again].

  2. It's really beautiful. Think I did read it originally, Think it might have made me think

    Was just thinking about all the things I will have to discard when I move cross-country

    Always think things are just things, but then I look at a book somebody gave me or we read together and I don't know if I can do it. But I have to

    Maybe that's what is really meant by fresh starts

  3. this was a good repost- poetic and metaphoric.

    thanks for the linklove. i have returned the favor. ;)

  4. Bone,
    Someone told me that it's only God who Forgives and Forgets, but He lets us remember...
    I have been married for some time, but still have that box--and even now I go through it from time to time. Not so much because I want to go back--but I want to was part of my life. I grew from those wounds and mistakes, and as a song goes..."God blessed the broken road" that led me here.
    Just as you are being led, and are learning--and can see how much you have grown in a years time. The next love will be handled more carefully because of what you learned, because of the reminders in your box...and that is a priceless thing to know.

  5. Blondie: You're probably better off tossing it away. I've tossed out a lot. Kept some.

    And I believed you spelled it right ;-)

    Pia: Good point. I guess I could throw it all away. And then, if I regretted it, blame it on you :-)

    Moving is the quickest (and maybe the only) way to get me to throw stuff away. It's either discard it or pack it.

    Ms. Sizzle: Thank you. Enjoy your posts.

    Mayden: Very good comment. Good way to look at it. Thanks.

  6. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll. When I update mine, I'll add you. You're a wonderful writer and this post expresses a lot of emotion and also stirs up stuff within my soul. I used to read back through journals--which I've kept for nearly 30 years--but often found that I'd become depressed. I still do this occassionally, but not nearly as often as before.

  7. Sage: Thanks for the compliment. It means a great deal to me.

    I guess one reason I hold onto things is because once they're gone, they're gone. If you throw something away, you can't undo it.