Monday, July 22, 2013

sentimentality, an apology and cave crickets

I've recently undertaken the monumental task of cleaning out my basement. We've lived here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for six years now and although we lightened our load considerably through multiple yard sales before moving here, we've pretty much been in accumulation and hoard mode ever since. (Don't tell my mom. She would not be pleased.)

So I'm opening up all these plastic storage tubs that are coated with dust and I probably don't want to know what else, breathing in approximately four zillion mold spores as I pore over old documents and pictures. I think it's affecting my brain because I'm not feeling nearly as nostalgic as I thought I would. It's the entirety of my past, my legacy, in those boxes and I'm kinda like, "Eh. Those boxes are just going to take up room if we move to a smaller place with no basement." (Basements are a rarity out here where it's almost sea level.)

I thought I used to be a sentimental person but after this experience and also writing Green Castles I'm starting to wonder if I really am. While writing, it's been easy to separate myself from the memories, repurposing them with different characters, and shaping and embellishing them to heighten the entertainment factor. Maybe fiction writers can't be too sentimental because even though the truth is inspirational, we're driven by the need to spin it into a better story.

After unearthing all the novels I wrote in high school, I feel slightly bad that I wrote the bulk of those words while sitting in class at South Putnam Jr/Sr High School. Since I've taught college students with microscopic attention spans for the last ten years, I know how frustrating it is not to be able to engage students. So, if any of my teachers are reading this, I do apologize for not paying attention. Especially to Mr. Kroft, because I sure as heck don't remember anything from Geometry.

And I'll tell you one more thing: all you folks out there in Hoosier Land need to thank your lucky stars that you don't have to contend with Cave Crickets. Seriously. Google them if you dare.

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