Or bed in this case.
I have always been afraid of cleaning under my bed because it has been messy for years. Since I was a child. But the longer I put it off, the more likely I am to encounter scary spiders, the more trash there will be, and the more unwilling I will become.
So, for the past few days, I finally got some spark to work on it. I'm so scared of spiders that I wear work gloves and use a 3 or 4 foot long grabber-stick thing (you pull the trigger and it snaps shut to grab things from afar). Then I throw whatever it is away. Or if it is of sentimental value I keep it but I've only done that with a couple papers and stuff. I can't handle all of it at once so I throw away some stuff, go do other things, come back etc.
This doesn't feel real. For most people this might sound trivial. "Dude just clean your room lmao". For me this is some kind of huge event in my life. For years I had old blankets on the floor to block the underbed area, so I couldn't see it. Then I'd get new blankets instead of washing blankets and stuff more down there. Now I'm coming face to face with memories. Things I seriously completely forgot until now. And some are from so long ago. I'm 26 and I'm finding toys I played with when I was 8. Shoes from high school marching band. Old christmas cards my mom gave me in middle school.
The most jarring thing I've found is a small leather journal that I have no memory of ever having. I only wrote three pages in it. It must have been in the 12th grade because I have a todo list with things like, "order cap and gown" "apply to that nearby trade school" … I was interested in finance and had a little list of companies I was interested in buying stocks in… I even had a little idea for a novel written down.
This book is nearly a decade old and has been a foot away from me while I slept and I never knew it. It is a manifestation of myself. It's not me anymore though. But I'm confronted by a shade of a previous point in time, translucently phasing into the now, a different version of myself who occupied these same coordinates in space that I currently occupy. I never followed through with a single thing written in that journal. I never attended graduation and bought no cap and gown. Never applied to any school. Never invested in stocks. Never wrote a novel. But in those three pages, probably jotted down in one day, lies more ambition than I have ever displayed since. I've never had goals as big as those since high school and those weren't even big goals.
I occupy the exact same bed as this phantom from another time. The exact same room. I use the exact same computer desk. Exact same computer chair. I even have some of the exact same clothes as this shade. We look similar - not identical; I have remarkably less hair covering my scalp, for one - but we aren't the same. Though he is familiar, we have nothing in common. I have no idea who he is and he probably can't even perceive me.
But I feel sorry for him. That fool thinks that writing down a few ideas will change anything. That idiot actually thinks anything will ever change on its own. That he can just haphazardly pray and pine for something better and that it will eventually happen. That imbecile thinks if he ignores his fears, insecurities, worries, flaws… if he just pretends that he doesn't suffer from them, if he just stuffs all these problems under the bed and hides them from view, then they will just stop existing. Lose all their power. Even though all of these evil energies are still there, lurking a foot away. Directly under him while he sleeps in his unconscious mind.
And I feel like I've let him down.
(…but I did find a $1 bill tucked in the back of the journal so I came out ahead in the end!)