Step into my room and you'll be greeted by a mountain of things scattered across my room, like wild grass and flowers weaving in and out of a landscape. Odd pieces of paper pressed into submission by much heavier objects. Towers of books threatening to topple over and crush unsuspecting dust mites (or my overgrown rodent...). Little useless knick knacks that breathes a life from a forgotten world. For the moment, let's ignore the idea of sheer messiness that is my room. I'll get back to it later.
Compulsive disorder? Perhaps.I guess I'm a possible candidate but I never 'reached' that point. I'm not stubborn or unreasonable to not be able to be rational.
For instance... what does this little 1 inch pencil mean to you? Most likely junk, fit for a journey right into the trash can, pronto! But not to me.
Because in my eyes, it's not merely a piece of wood and lead, but one that turns into a storybook in my hands. Because in my mind, my eyes are blindfolded in the midst of memories and those are the 'hands' that brings me to a specific, and familiar memory. It could be a person, an event or a forgotten feeling. Of the millions of mass produced pencils, this is what makes my wee little pencil special.
Same goes to the little notes; ones that me and my friends scribbled on in primary and high school days. The drama, the heartache, the headache and most of all, the sweet memories of friendship back in my schooldays.
Why did I suddenly write about this? It all started when my colleague's poster went missing. So what, you might say. Get another. But my colleague seemed upset. Get over it, you say. It's only a poster. But it's not. It has sentimental value. Like how a body is just a body, and how a person is a body with a soul.
And by the way, I like the mess. I hope I'll never turn into a Tabletop Gleaming, Everything Hidden from Sight person. I'll never be comfortable in a sterilised world. I'll give leeway for a place that isn't my own, or when shared with someone else, but in my own room? This is my world. These are objects I picked up along this journey of life.
Alas, I must say that much has since been tossed away. With the coldness of an onsetting adulthood, I took a deep breath 3 years ago and submerged myself in them for one last time... and slowly sorted through the 'useless' items; short, yellowed, torn or dusty. Objects in tiptop shape yet no longer fitted in my hands will have to go too.
I remember standing in the middle of my room, much neater and cleaner, looking a little sadly over to that big black plastic bag. Let go.
Even with the major overhaul, I still keep the littlest pieces of these objects. I'm still collecting. Little nonsense notes from my friends. Receipts from places that reminds me of my trips, my friends. Airplane tickets. The thank-you bands from Project Vietnam. An unfinished crochet scarf whose maker has since passed on.
For the future. In case I submerge so deep and when I come up for air and I forget myself. If my mind is eaten by dementia or madness or confusion, at least I have these 'evidence' that these happened. At least I know that much is true.