Lost and Found MAG

August 5, 2008
By Anonymous

I liked being a mess. The desk that should have been clear so I could do my homework was always besieged with bowls of cereal and spoiled milk, old magazines, and Post-it notes I had forgotten to remember. My floor was a vacuum in itself, eating anything entering my room. It consumed sweaters, stuffed animals, socks, shoes. When I occasionally did laundry, I would dig up clothes I couldn't even recall purchasing. My shelves overflowed with containers of little odds and ends: hair bands, chapstick, matches, loose mints, coins, earring backings. I couldn't always see these things, but I knew that they were safe, nestled somewhere on a shelf. Like old friends in a phone book, I figured that someday I would find all the loose strings and tie them together.

One lonely day in August when all of my friends had yet to return from camp in Maine, visiting family in Florida, or some community-service trip in Mexico, something inside me began to itch. I tried taking a shower, scrubbing myself with every bodywash and bar of soap I could find. I brushed my hair and my teeth, but didn't feel any cleaner. I checked my e-mail, which was empty. I checked the DVR to see if any new shows had been recorded, but I had already seen everything.

I went downstairs and found my brother playing video games, my mom on the phone, and my dad in his office – everyone in their right place. I told my mom that something didn't feel right, and she suggested that for once I should clean my room. The thought itself made me nauseous. I went upstairs to sulk, feeling so overwhelmed that I might as well have been floundering without a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

When I opened the door to my bedroom, everything was in its usual cluttered arrangement. A plate of half-eaten pancakes sat on my desk, soggy with syrup from the morning. My bikini hung lifelessly from my doorknob, dripping pool water. My heavy covers lay crumpled and cold across my bed, molded by the twists and turns of the previous night. Piles of dirty clothes sat unsorted, collecting dust.

I stood in the middle of the cluttered room, breathing in the filthy air that I had become so used to. In the silence of that moment, I began to hear the clock ticking. I became aware of the moldy smell. I noticed that a spider had spun a shimmering line from my lamp to the top of my mirror. I shivered in disgust. I remembered that winter how my stuffed animal, Vanilla, had fallen behind my dresser and I hadn't noticed until I caught the repulsive scent of her fur burning against the heater, until it was too late and she was permanently covered in brown spots.

I suddenly felt sympathy for everything in my room that I had buried, never to be seen again. Lost items I had blocked out for years made their way back into my consciousness: my favorite yellow tank top, the picture of my mom and me on that boat in Jamaica, my baseball card collection.

I had an urge to dive under my bed and uncover everything lurking in the murky depths of dust, and to climb up into the highest corners of my closet and rescue items that had been mingling with the spiders. The innocent piles were growing higher and higher until they were looming monsters before my eyes. They were threatening to swallow me whole. I had to get rid of them. And so I started to clean.

In a box buried under old textbooks, I found a letter that my Poppy had written me at camp. I hadn't thought of him since his funeral. I suddenly remembered the thrill of running naked through cold sprinklers with my cousins, the spicy smell of barbecue mixing with the salty air at his beach house, and the distinct feel of his soft sweater rubbing warmly against my cheek each time he enveloped me in a hug. I remembered my dad rocking me to sleep the night Poppy died, and how the tears wouldn't stop.

I sat with his picture, blocking out the rest of the mess around me. I was in the middle of a storm, but I sat there and studied him until I had memorized every line in his face. Tears began to roll down my cheeks again, and the relief was like the sound of heavy rain pounding on a roof at the end of a drought.

In the drawer next to my bed, I found a friendship bracelet my childhood best friend, Aubrey, had given to me before she moved to California. I traced the green and purple pattern with my thumb, realizing that I hadn't spoken to her in years. The next day I called her, and we talked all night, laughing about memories like dressing up as the Spice Girls for Halloween. She reminded me of the time we built a family of snowmen in my backyard and had a funeral for them when they'd melted. I had lost so many precious childhood memories over time, letting them slip away into the tide like grains of sand. It was the kind of conversation you never want to end because for each moment we talked, it felt like a bucket collecting droplets of water from a leak.

Under my bed I even found that picture of my mom and me in Jamaica. I had forgotten how turquoise the water had looked from our ship, but what really caught my attention, though, was my image. I had buck teeth, short hair, and pimples covering my face. I stared at that girl, barely able to recognize this person who had drowned in the mess of my room so many years before. I decided to completely re­organize and revamp my room so that all the books, belts, and baskets were in their right place. It was like finding the missing pieces of the puzzle.

The finishing touch was framing that photo and hanging it high up on my wall. After all, it was me I had been searching for.

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This article has 303 comments.

on Sep. 7 2012 at 11:30 am
angelina green GOLD, Navarre, Florida
11 articles 8 photos 2 comments
Your story reminds me of of my room except for all of my stuff isn't spread out. I hid everything in boxes. I suppose I have over 20 boxes, varying in sizes, hiding things from all the way back in 2004 to now. Your story makes me want look through them. Thanks.

ABazza GOLD said...
on Aug. 28 2012 at 5:49 am
ABazza GOLD, London, Other
13 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Keep Calm and Carry On'
'Don't worry, be happy'
'Life Goes On'
You Only Live Once'

this is a really cool style of writing and the message was great and relateable 

on Aug. 12 2012 at 1:18 pm
Why_Do_We_Fall GOLD, Fort Wayne, Indiana
15 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous, do not be terrified do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you...wherever you go!" Joshua 1:9
"Why do we fall, Bruce?"

WOW!! This is so good. At first I thought it was just going to be about cleaning a room, but in the end it was more about cleaning oneself out of all the junk that's piled up inside.  This is something I can totally relate to!! GREATWORK!

on Jun. 15 2012 at 1:48 pm
Pika_Princess, Escondido, California
0 articles 0 photos 118 comments
this is something that I think everyone can relate to; wonderfully written!

on Apr. 1 2012 at 11:16 am
dragonfly95 SILVER, Argaon, Georgia
7 articles 0 photos 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
'' there is nothing to fear but fear its self''

this is simply written but so powerful it brings tears to my eyes. great job! check out my work please and thank you!

on Mar. 27 2012 at 9:09 pm
Zaraclaylime DIAMOND, Chicago, Illinois
75 articles 2 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
So I suppose my simple advice is: Love your life. I only say that because your life is what you have to give.
-Tom Hiddleston

de ja vu :)

kyrireese GOLD said...
on Mar. 27 2012 at 1:53 pm
kyrireese GOLD, Dallas, Texas
17 articles 0 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Everything will absolutely be all right."
"Hold fast to dreams." - Langston Hughes

I love this! I clean my room yearly. (kind of bad) And each time I open a box where I keep my lost things. And each year I am once again engulfed in the memories. I really loved this. Brilliant Brilliant writing!!!

on Feb. 17 2012 at 8:21 pm
kate12345me GOLD, Sydney, Other
11 articles 0 photos 69 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth." - Thoreau
"Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on."

This was so good! I once wrote something exactly like this for school - it was about a girl who's searching for something but doesn't know what, then realises she's been searching for herself! Great work, please please please check out my work!

aem312 BRONZE said...
on Feb. 12 2012 at 1:08 pm
aem312 BRONZE, Richmond, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 43 comments
I really liked this :). It was so great! I especially loved the ending.

Lit.rox BRONZE said...
on Feb. 12 2012 at 9:27 am
Lit.rox BRONZE, Kandy, Other
4 articles 0 photos 28 comments
wow! great story...something different from the usual.i loved that part where you had mentioned about having a funeral for the snowmen... keep up the good work.

Kri.Kri BRONZE said...
on Jan. 21 2012 at 6:15 pm
Kri.Kri BRONZE, Brick, New Jersey
3 articles 2 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Que Sera, Sera

LOVED that!(:

on Jan. 21 2012 at 11:26 am
little.dancer SILVER, Greenfield, Indiana
6 articles 1 photo 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... Its about learning how to dance in the rain.

that was really good. once i started to read it , I couldn't stop to hear what other memories you had found! Very good!

ally said...
on Jan. 12 2012 at 11:21 am
pretty good.

Wordfisher said...
on Dec. 30 2011 at 12:39 pm
Wordfisher, Vancouver, Washington
0 articles 0 photos 7 comments
This is awsome

on Dec. 30 2011 at 10:46 am
fictitious-quandary GOLD, Orlando, Florida
18 articles 5 photos 83 comments

Favorite Quote:
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Willing is not enough; we must do.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right"
- Henry Ford

Very good job. I honestly don't know why you put anonymous you did really great and you should be very proud. Plus you got other people to clean their rooms based on the comments.

beans1235 said...
on Dec. 15 2011 at 11:57 am
im gonna reccomend this story to my bean courtney delaney bean shleens and by the way this is courtney

beans1235 said...
on Dec. 15 2011 at 11:53 am
hey liam whats up

beans1235 said...
on Dec. 15 2011 at 11:52 am
hey jeremey nice comment haha

chesil said...
on Dec. 15 2011 at 11:52 am
woah beans 1235. your cool.

beans1235 said...
on Dec. 15 2011 at 11:50 am
i love the beany shleen u already no the beany bean kid bean shleens keens

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