I hear the vacuum running outside my bedroom door, back and forth, back and forth as Baylee earns the seven dollars from Max for doing his chore. The puppy, Wanda, barks playfully, and the gentle tap tap tap of the hammer keeps the rhythm of the house as Max chisels out a home for our new deadbolt to rest.
In my room, I listen to the This is Us soundtrack as I sip my very very sweet, and very very delicious salted caramel blend from Mo’Joe’s in Wallace, my Saturday treat. In the bathroom attached to my room, a Bergamot and Tea Leaves candle burns, while one called Staying Home is lit on Nana’s old dresser behind me offering the light scent of amber and mandarin. Their aromas dance around my room nagging me to relax and focus on some memoir writing.
The sun flexes her yellow brightness through my windows and the sparrows furrow their non-existent brows and argue with each other in fast, stern chirps as they wait for the fat, white-bellied squirrel to leave the feeder. Piles of crocheted blankets, flattened cardboard boxes, and neglected shoes dress my bed, and a very large Gisele paws at her broken tennis ball, ears perked forward, teasing me to take it from her.
My professor once said that a writer will do everything on the list except write. All the chores, and to-dos, and tasks come to the front of the brain with no resistance, taking away concentration and any desire to write.
Instead of writing, I filed papers, went through old photos of Roger when he was in the Marine Corps., the boys, and my pup, Zoeeee who I will forever miss. I looked at old crayon art and a five-year old’s declarations and stories on multi-colored construction paper from Baylee’s kindergarten years, cleaned out my desk, and organized my closet.
Dresses on the left and tops of all colors on the right hang on red, white, and pink plastic hangers just so I can continue to only wear Marvel t-shirts. The highest of heels in colors like purple and silver, and fancy, flashy boots line up together on the white plastic coated shelving, just so I can keep wearing Converse. And for some reason, I can’t pack up the Sesame Street curtains I made when I was pregnant with Sammy, or Roger’s cassette collection in the black and turquoise case. It’s filled with tapes like Tim McGraw and so much Rush.
Mingled with my neatly arranged clothes are some of Roger’s like his USMC fleece and his light tan coat he purchased in Norway. I press the fabric to my face and inhale, pretending his scent lingers still. His size twelve desert boots are on my shelf, and his Half Moon Fire Dept. turnout gear sits tidy and tight in the corner, not wanting to go into a bin to only be seen every few years.
The reasons I don’t write my memoir when I’m supposed to are the same reasons I need to. Now that my room is clean, I wonder what the next excuse will be. I wonder why I can’t let go and purge what’s in my mind to make room for something else creative, something else happy, something new. I should be ready, but maybe I’m not done holding on.
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