books in boxes

I slept in the extra hour this morning. My phone reset itself, so I wound my watch back. The clouds hung low, a grey ceiling over St Andrews that suited the waning days of October so well that I didn't miss the sun at all.

I started with my books. There are many. It's a healthy balance of read and unread. I hate putting them in boxes. They do no good there. Placing Chandler and Faulkner away where they can't be read feels like betrayal, or censorship.

My paperwork came next. Endless statements, bills and scraps. I keep them out of some sort of fear that were I to burn them, I would immediately be required to produce them again for some manner of desperately important Bureaucratic necessity. I all but poured the contents of my desk into one box, including the annotated draft of my unpublished novel. I labelled that box as 'not for the garage'. That big purple binder needs to be on my desk again as soon as possible.

Amidst all these bits and pieces are the memories that come with them. A piece of paper from a tasting four years ago, the host now dead two years. It comes back with perfect clarity; a dinner in London, a lunch the next day. The food; the wines; the measured, wise conversation. The company.

I'm no hoarder by any means, but that's why I keep these things. Bits of paper that unlock so much more than what's scribbled on their tattered leaves. I'm packing memories away, but taking a long, lingering look at them beforehand.

Because I've no idea when I'll see them again.