the locations of objects tell stories. there is a piece of wrapping paper by my side of the bed, folded and taped; it was my birthday last month. a Serge Gainsbourg CD lies near; we arrived home from Berkeley, snuggled into bed, and listened to our new purchases from Amoeba.

the east-facing window of my home office looks into a second-floor window of the house two doors away; close enough to throw a smile.

i used to know a boy. he lived at 301 Lincoln Ave, i at 307. i remember the first time i saw him at his window. we were 9 years old, and he had just moved into our neighborhood. he pressed his nose against the glass and grinned at me. bowl-cut brown hair. orange striped t-shirt. green shutters. we fell in love freshmen year, boyfriend and girlfriend for 5 months. i remember the exact hue of grey in the curtains he put up after we broke each others’ hearts.

reading marie kondo’s the life-changing magic of tidying up. clutter is existential tantrums about time. it’s a list of pending jobs left by old selves asking you to be who they were or who they failed to be. it’s a litany of demands from futures selves asking you to protect them. from everything.

the ability to forget is a gift. i’m a slightly different girl everyday. if all the girls i’ve been asked me to hold their wishes, their failings, their every ephemeral moment, i would disappear. your existence is pressed into my habits, my heart. don’t ask me to carry you. pass me the baton, and let me run.

waiting for the right time to do things properly is not the same as waiting for the right time to do things perfectly.