I keep a lot incriminating things - boxes of spiral notebooks and journals, a trunk full of diaries and thoughts scribbled on scraps of paper, countless scattered bits of evidence in easily accessible locations. They're all things that, were I to die suddenly and unexpectedly, hearing from beyond the grave that people had begun reading would surely make me want to reanimate my own corpse and kill myself again.
I have never withheld a thought from myself. Just about anything that has eaten away at me for more than a fleeting moment can be found within the pages of one notebook or another. And yet, I have always had a nagging fear of becoming some sort of Anne Frank in the event of some unfortunate demise. I can only imagine that if she knew that her infatuation with Peter Schiff had become common knowledge throughout the entire literate world, she would be a touch mortified. Of course, knowing her poignant story has touched millions might curb her embarrassment. But what have I got to redeem me? I haven't a heroic bone in my body, but have had plenty of less than heroic thoughts. The last thing I want is for people to remember me for my Saves The Day-esque poetry detailing my disdain for my ex-boyfriend in 2003; or for imaginative hypotheticals on how I might someday capture the heart of some unrequited crush whom I have long since forgotten or moved on from.
A week or so ago, I decided that I would begin methodically destroying all of these damning artifacts. Lord knows I can't even bear to read them, so there's no reason I should be keeping them around for others to someday cringe, or worse, laugh at. Still, it's harder than it seems. My dearest Chelsea and I made an agreement when we were sixteen or seventeen that, should one of us shed this mortal coil before our time, the other would destroy the humiliating ramblings left behind. We called it "burning the cabinet," because all such records of Chelsea's were kept in a cabinet in her bedroom. A part of me thinks, well, maybe I should just keep it all and let Chels burn the cabinet. But the other part of me thinks that it could be time to burn it myself and finally move on with my life. I don't know what comfort I find in holding on so tightly to the past, but it's about time to let it go.