She sits surrounded by packing boxes. Most of them yet to be opened. Marked boringly "Kitchen Stuff" or "Hall Light, Parts". She's just finished with the one marked "Candles". She has her priorities right. She wonders what to start on next. It catches her eye. The little cardboard box. "Random Stuff" it proclaims in black marker filched from the lab. It's the obvious choice. She finds a mess of papers inside, piled in any which way. She sees the corner of what looks like a card sticking out. She pulls it out of the heap. She reads the little ditty scrawled in blue ink inside. Written with a smile, read with a giggle. Memories of her most recent birthday. Spent with one of her best gfs and a bunch of guys who joined the party after it had kicked off. One of the guys had given her the card the next day. Apparently insisting that everyone at the party call her Paris Hilton (!!!! Really have to lay off those martinis!!!) and declare that she's just turned nineteen had been a big hit. It had been a nice night. Atleast the bits of it she remembers. She puts the card into the Madden shoe box she keeps for memories. She picks up a letter from her baby sister, covered in sparkly sticky butterflies. An illustrated text of her sister's daily activities. She chuckles as she sees the line of XO kisses at the bottom. Into the Madden box. A letter from someone she met recently but who has become surprisingly special surprisingly quickly. Scribbled on the back of a treatise on calibration systems. Of course she has to read all three pages again. Letters from her older sister. Sketches. A recycled-paper lampshade given her by someone who had once been kinda special. A CD with a song written for her by someone who had once been more than special. A bunch of old photographs. Smiling faces set in backdrops that bring dead days back to life. A letter from her ex-roommate bitching about the current roomie situation. A continent away. The letter seems to contain within itself a whiff of cold grey English air. So many memories collected in such a short time. How does anyone manage to hold so much so close. Rain drips outside with satisfactorily depressing monotony and the yellow-grey light filters in through the window. iTunes obligingly cues Good Charlotte to sing The Chronicles of Life and Death.
But now you're old, cold, covered in blood
Right back to where you started from.
It somehow feels appropriate. Significant even. It's an afternoon designed for melancholic nostalgia. She submits. But not with good cheer. That would spoil everything.