Monday, March 08, 2004

At the top of the built-in bookshelves in our living room are two books: The Figure of Beatrice and The Poems of WB Yeats. I've had them four years now. Every time I move, they're carefully packed away, usually in their own box, thereby minimizing jostling and tearing. When I unpack, they're put back on the top shelf, usually with a sigh and a mental note that I really should do something about them.

It wouldn't be too hard really - they belong to an old professor of mine, Geraldine. She still works at Marlboro, I have both her work and school addresses. Heck, I could even mail 'em out for free from where I work (dishonest, yet frugal). But I don't. And I haven't, for four years now.

In my last entries, I was wondering how one lives with a past that makes them unhappy. In my case, I know: I don't. Those books are a constant reminder that I didn't finish at Marlboro. That I left, thinking and saying that I'd come back, and that I never did. That, most likely, I never will.

I keep those books because, other than moving day, I can pretty much ignore them. Because the dead, inactive guilt I feel, knowing that they aren't mine and I've kept them, is easier to bear than the active aknowledgement of that guilt. Because leaving them up there and scolding myself for forgetfulness is easier than mailing them back and knowing that I'm not forgetful. Bluh.

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