I’m a memory hoarder. Inside my head, I imagine this whole room full of memories. It’s not an ordinary room. It’s never ending. Like you can see the walls around, but the closer you get, the more distant they seem. And the room, the room has these big shelves from the roof to the floor. Stacked with glimpses. The shelves in the back are my childhood. They are not clearly visible. Time has settled in a thick layer of dust on it. I don't go there too often. Even on days when I wish to, I don't.
Then there’s a juke box in one corner. You see I tend to pin songs to my memories. The jukebox is always on. Even if I don’t know the lyrics to all the songs, I’m familiar with all the tunes. Sometimes I sing along. But there are some songs on it that I always skip. I fear deleting them would take away the memory of having heard them ever. Those songs. I know the lyrics by heart. Yet I’m better off without playing them out loud.
And then there is this one entire wall of letters on the right of the juke box. Anything anyone ever said it’s all on it. Except there are a few smudges on that wall. Like how when the paint chips off and falls to the floor. I assume those are the weared off promises. Falling off as each was made but not kept. Much like wounds. If you just stop long enough you can see it squealing with pain for the wall never heals.
The room is over populated now but somehow everything finds a place and magically fits in. Sometimes visiting the room feels like talking to certain past versions of myself. But mostly I avoid conversations with them. I just let them roam around, heaving and grieving, in the mess that the room is. I don’t clean it too often. I fear what I may lose in the activity. Something I want to hold on to for longer.
So this room has glass walls. So that I can peek in whenever I want. I do that. I do that quite often. Some days, I walk to the door just to hear the memories breathe but I don’t step in. Because once I go inside the room, I never come out the same. I'm saving those memories. But on most days, I'm saving myself from the memories.