A BOX FROM THE HALL OF RECORDS – Marilyn Armstrong

One morning, I woke up to find a beautifully wrapped package next to my bed. Attached to it was a note: “Open me, if you dare.”

What’s inside the box? Should I open it?

When I looked closely, under the wrapping paper and ribbons, I could see who sent it or at least, from where it originated.

“Hall of Records,” says the label.

I’ve been searching for this package since many years ago I had a dream in which I am climbing an endless ladder in a tall building until finally, I get to a steel door. Which is locked. On the door is a sign that says “Hall of Records.”

In all these years, I’ve never been able to go into that room. I’ve never been able to see the information in the room. Now, here is the box and it’s right next to my bed. Does it contain all the records? The lost memories? The suppressed memories? The experiences that are too painful to remember? All the buried stuff … and maybe it’s in that box.

I look at the box, pick it up and give it a good shake. It’s heavy and solidly packed. No rattling, nothing loose inside. It must be crammed to its limits.

I’ve made my decision.

I carry it to the attic, pull down the creaky old stairs. Up to the attic I haul that heavy box, grunting with the strain of it. I have lived this long without knowing all the details of the worst days of my life. I think I can slide through the remaining years equally — and happily — in ignorance.



Categories: Marilyn Armstrong

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14 replies

  1. I thought maybe you’d finally gotten a hold of your Permanent Record. You know…. THAT one that we’re all warned about, but that we never get to see. It would be fascinating to know what’s actually on it…

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  2. Love this one. The story pulled me in.

    Like

  3. I’m with you. Sometimes looking back isn’t worth the information it may provide. I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying your life, you’ve lived the sadness tragedy and whatever else, why taint what is good with what is bad?

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    • That has always been my theory. If by some chance I remember without help, okay, then I was supposed to remember. Otherwise? It’s gone. Let it go.

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      • Exactly! If it was going to make a positive impact or change something in a positive way, then yay, but unfortunately, that is rarely the case. Sides, after your 50, what the hell are we looking back for? Time’s short! Live a little enjoy while you can! wooot

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  4. There are some things I chose not to know – wise decision.
    Leslie

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  5. It was a restraint a few would have shown. Most would give in to the temptation of knowing.

    Like

  6. Exactly. It doesn’t pay to dwell on unhappy memories. I would have put that box into the attic, too.

    Like

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