One of the first things I did when I realized I would be living in my old room for the next year at least was rearrange the pictures. I’ve committed to redecorating – sewing my own curtains, painting a mural, assembling my new Ikea dresser (listed in order of increasing difficulty) – but those things take time, sweat. The elimination picture round had to come immediately.
I went through the pictures I have and the ones I had in envelopes. Selecting the most important people in either the most beautiful or absurd poses, I refilled my french memo-boards and embellished with tickets, cookie-fortunes, cow napkins, and all the other important pieces of my life that fit underneath ribbons.
If you mean something to me, you’re on the board.
That includes family (biological and sorority), friends, mentors, favorite places and events, and yes, even Poco. Even the small handful of people I have encountered while traveling who became an important part of those three or five months are there next to the concert wristbands and camel ears.
There’s one picture in particular, however, that has a unique quality to it. A friend noticed it one day and asked “why do you have a blank piece of paper on your board?”. It’s not blank, I responded, It’s backwards. I flip it back and forth depending on how much it makes me generally want to stab people. I mentioned it to another friend later, and he laughed. Not a “you are ridiculous why would you do that?” laugh, but an “of course it’s backwards, and I’m ridiculous for not expecting it” laugh.
This picture, or rather its subjects, are a thorn in my side. Almost completely hidden by the other faces and memories on the board, and covered almost completely by my everyday existence, it’s not always a problem. These are the times that it faces forward, smiling sweetly at me, glowing with memories and morning light. But other times, I hear or see something that reminds me how empty or angry or confused or regret-filled or just generally-pathetically-tormented I feel about the whole thing, and that’s when I flip it back around. As of 5:52pm, it is facing the wall.
I never take it down. That really woudn’t be fair, because as I said before, anyone that matters is up there. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to look at it.
“What is past is prologue.” -William Shakespeare