I’m remembering so much of the past these days. Perhaps because there’s time enough for recollection. Or perhaps because I feel far removed from it, as though I’m only recollecting a story that is someone else’s.
I’m remembering my younger days in a cardboard box. And the years I lived in the city studying literature. I’m sometimes also remembering a lover from yesteryear and inevitably remembering a part of myself I had begun to forget.
And today, I’m remembering an old Uncle Graham.
I did not consciously choose to remember him, as though it’s in our power to choose who or what we remember.
Uncle Graham was a silver-haired Englishman I met on a vacation. The year was 2008 and the location was a seaside resort.
I was 10-years-old then, but I still remember most of it. We first met in the dining area.
“Good morning!” He wished my sister and myself as we passed him by.
Was it always so? Did I always need a little space of my own, my solitary abode I could retreat to every now and then? Or is this need for solitude a new awakening within me, one sprung from the same desire that makes me stitch words together?
I remember a cardboard box from my girlhood days. It perhaps came with a refrigerator, or maybe a computer when they were built massive. Or was it not a T.V. carton?
I can’t tell exactly how it came into my possession. But I was more excited about the box itself than the valuable item it was made for. I asked my parents if I could keep it. (My mother still calls me a collector of all things useless.)
For a whole summer, I called the cardboard box home. In the afternoons, I would carry it outdoors and lock myself away for hours. I remember asking papa to carve a door in its frame (I wasn’t allowed to use paper-cutters then). I also made a latch of sorts with bits of cardboard so as to keep intruders at bay.