I still go back to my parents’ house in Springfield, Illinois every time I move. Each time I go home my childhood room is fuller with the scraps and detritus that have fallen behind me. This bed I’m lying in, for example. A violin, a banjo, a few lamps, boxes of CDs, boxes of books, a duffel bag of umpiring equipment, Red Sox memorabilia, stuffed animals. This journal from 2007 I’m writing in. Deeper in the closet, framed pictures of ex-girlfriends, yearbooks, drawings, poems. It gets more fearsome the deeper you go. The room is a universe contained, or a personhood expanded.
Europe next. To hitchhike around and farm with Allison and opt out of the hustle. I’ll be difficult to reach. Bravery and cowardice, both seem to apply in small degrees. Here in the corner of the bedroom is the table my friend Joey and I made but never assembled in college. It still isn’t. Here in the closet are the rubber toys I pretended were tiny football players in grade school. Here are the roller skates I bought in Colorado Springs when I was a camp counselor. There are as it turns out very few instances in which to use roller skates. Here’s the copy of A Moveable Feast I read when I lived in Paris. And the Turkish notebook my friend Nassim gave me when I left Columbia. My memories of St. Louis are not yet in boxes. They still hang.
This must be some kind of slingshot, a sharp intake of breath and past before my chest falls.
Here I can always come back. Often I try very hard to exist and my successes are catalogued in boxes. And when I’m near them, I find myself between two great things. Like a body on a mattress, these things will leave an impression of me, once I’ve gotten up and moved on.