Leaving Traces of Myself

If I look around my room, I see the work of a disorganized person. A jumper hangs over the desk chair, ignorant of the fact that in this corner of the world it’s almost summer and therefore I shouldn’t have need of a jumper. The dressing table has a candle on it, half-burned down and with melted pieces of wax still present. It’s a departure from when I used to faithfully scrape away and discard the dripped wax. Shoes alternate between the designated rack and lined by the door, waiting to be worn.

The wardrobe is the one oasis of neatness: a variety of clothes hang in colour-coded groups, ordered alphabetically by name. Even the bookcases aren’t neat: bottles of perfume line the edge of the shelf and books lie stacked seven or eight deep on top of the standing books.

My first item is the notebook. It’s a spiral-bound A5 notebook, pages lined. The book’s a bit thin now, indicating that pages are used and torn out. You would not be hard-pressed to find writing paper or pens in my room: one shelf on the bookcase has four old books, barely used. They’re a remnant from high school and a souvenir of the time I decided to save money by using them instead of buying more. This plan didn’t quite work, because months later I found a very pretty pale green notebook, with butterflies all over it, and promptly bought it. As always, close to the books are pens of all colours. For the butterfly book, I use metallics to write in the poetry. Generally speaking this is a prelude to posting on this blog. My process is something like this – write in the spiral-bound book, rip out the page and copy the poem into the green book. This way I have a much nicer copy, without messy scribbles and crossed-out lines. Then, I post to the blog.

In this sense I’m leaving two marks: one for my collections, a personal edition. The other mark is the one on my blog, the one that people read or don’t read, but they still see it. From this, you can tell I’m a bibliophile who reads and writes. Some of the scrawl is to do with a novel, maybe NaNoWriMo, and so there’s a sense of determination and ambition: this isn’t someone who writes novels purely for the fun of it.

My second item is the computer. It goes hand-in-hand with the notebook; how else could I do 90% of my work? True, I do some on my mobile or old-fashioned paper, but the computer is the biggest way I do things. I watch movies, and even as I type I’m listening to music on it, having switched off the radio when overly-popular boy-bands came on. I post blogs and write essays from here, and yes, I’m doing NaNoWriMo on here. If I were to self-publish, you can be sure I’d use this computer. I do research and Google the little things that bug me, and I leave open tabs of stories I absolutely love so they’re right at my fingertips. Essays will culminate in a degree, though I’m still not sure what I’ll do when I finish.

As for my third item, it’s perfume. My favourite perfume is in a fairly plain bottle, dark purple fading out to clear. I don’t always remember to wear it, because I’m often running out the door, but I cheat with a little purse concentrate. My perfume is in the same family as the one my mum wears daily and it’s something I often associate with her. I’ve read that perfume is something which can bring a dozen memories: that smelling a perfume that someone wears can recall what they were like or what they wore, and that those memories can live on for years. I’ve found that if I use perfume often enough, spraying it in the air, can leave the after-scent of it hanging in the air. Sometimes I wonder if my own perfume has lingered in the memory of others like my mum’s has in mine.

Written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge

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