Up in the attic of our minds, floors sag under the weight of decades of dreams and disappointments. Tables splay and cant. Trunks split, spewing their viscera across the floor. Each night our gremlins scrabble up the stairs and squabble over the favored delicacies of hope and guilty regret. They gorge themselves and when replete, drag their bloated bellies back down the stairs. Bilious, they prance and shriek until they rip us from our quiet sleep into half-remembered nightmares.
Isn’t it time you take your journey seriously and do whatever’s necessary to banish those rude monsters? If you’re ready, come with me up the stairs to that attic. Roll up your sleeves, tie back your hair. Mind cleaning is hard work, and you’re gonna’ get dirty. Start by smashing that phonograph that continuously plays the discordant melodies of your bad choices, the ones that keep you from loving yourself. Check out that coil of guilt kicked into the corner. Gremlins crave guilt like junkies a fix. Heave it out the window.
Over on that old dressing table–yeah, the one you had as a teenager–there’s a pretty little charm bracelet. See it? Every gaily dangling charm is a shard from a shattered dream. How often have you picked up that bracelet and fingered each charm like it was a rosary bead, driving yourself deeper into the dark place you no longer wish to dwell? Trash it. Smash it. Throw it. Out. Out. Out.
Continue from room to room. Search and destroy. Collect and eject. Leave no disappointment unturned, no regret unchallenged.
Wondering what’ll become of your nasty little tormentors when the job’s done? Let’s try to picture the scene. Slavering for their usual feast, the creatures elbow each other aside and charge up the stairs. They jerk open the door and find–what? Once sagging tables now stand straight and bare. Sunlight from a clean window bathes the room. Hollow trunks sneer at the intruders.
“Burgled,” they shriek. “Our supper’s scuttled.”
The creatures yowl and kick trunk lids until the truth oozes into their tiny lizard brains. The diner is closed. “What the hell!” they wail and scuttle down to the street.
Now that your work is done, come out on the porch with me. Sit in a rocking chair. Let your mind relax and wander with mine back up the stairs to the attic. Together we push the door open and gentle memories swirl around us in the fresh clear air. Faces of our loved ones float so close we reach out and touch them. Listen. They’re singing. We join them in perfect-pitch harmony as our arms wrap tightly around them, and we dance in the sunlight together.