Once upon a time, many years ago, I dreamed of a locked room called “The Hall of Records.” I was never able to enter that room. The other morning, I woke up to find a box next to my bed. Attached to it was a note: “Open me, if you dare.” Somehow, I knew it must by from that room. What’ was inside? Should I open it?
And indeed the note said: “Hall of Records.” So this was the box for which I’ve been searching since that dream. I remembered climbing that endless ladder in a building that seemed to go on forever, yet I kept climbing. When I got to the top, I saw the padlocked door. The “Hall of Records” into which I could not enter.
In all these years, that room eluded me. Now, here’s the box. Does it contain all my records? Lost memories? Suppressed memories? Experiences too painful to remember? Everything is in that box.
I looked at it. Picked it up. Shook it. It’s heavy and solidly packed. There’s no rattling and nothing seems loose. The solidity of it is startling. It must have been packed to its limits.
I stared at it and I wondered what I should do. Did I really — really — want to know everything about me? Do I want to pull the cover off that dark manhole and peer inside?
I’ve made my decision.
I pulled down the creaky old folding stairs to the attic. Carried that box to the top. I have lived this long without knowing every detail of the worst of my life. I think I can slide through the remaining years in happy ignorance.