Once in a while I fall. I stumble because I trip over myself and I fall because my ambitions are aimed to the floor. Once in a while…okay once every couple of weeks the dirty dishes pile up and the smell of rotting chicken and the sand on my feet bothers me. Once in a while…alright, alright–once a day I tell myself I’m not good enough.
There’s a suitcase full of memories packed away in my brain. Every place I’ve Never been is plastered in little stickers on the side. The handle is starting to wobble- I think there’s a string or tie loose. The scratches on the leather are from the bad choices I’ve made along the way and with every wheezing breath the scratches turn to scars. The memories in this suitcase have blurred to tales- corny stories about a girl who had potential but became bitter in her failed attempts to try.
Every once in a while I falter. I break and fall apart. I’m useless beyond my jealous desire to prove them wrong and keep going. Every once in a while… I sigh. But the breath it takes to breathe a happy thought hurts.
Sometimes I forget that my suitcase is packed and all those memories are ready to go. Weeks– months go by and I assume that the clothes scattered all over my floor have been taken out and are waiting to be put away. They blend into the floor.
But once in a great while that beat-up, overstuffed suitcase catches my eye and I shudder. The memories, the experiences, the dreams, the goals and a hippie imitation of a girl chasing wildflowers …. she comes back.
And there I am: unfinished and panicked. I’m suddenly stunned by the realization that she’s better than me. I’m frozen by the sadness of it all. I look at my room with finger stained walls and I’m sick by the clothes I’m standing on. They were never unpacked. They were bought along the way- dirty and wrinkled on the floor beneath my feet; these clothes mean nothing to me.
My memories, the ones in my suitcase, define me and they’re glaring at me through the travel case waiting by the front door. They beckon me to leave, but I cannot move. I wait for something to happen; a bang, a crash, a plane landing on my roof…nothing. I stare. And when I stare I see the things I’ve avoided. I’m overwhelmed.
Once in a while I lose my breath. Every day I catch it. I breathe beyond the nicotine and inhale crisp air. But I know that my past and that hippie girl won’t stay there- uncomfortable and unacknowledged forever. I fear the loss of my overstuffed, unattended travel box. I think that someday my suitcase may sprout legs and leave me here in this haze of memories that will never define me….. those memories were bought along the way~