Getting rid of extraneous clutter on my desk and in my apartment is an ongoing task. But what do I do about the extraneous clutter in my head? The same brain that must write down ‘buy cat food today’ can’t seem to forget things that aren’t exactly useful right now.
It’s one thing to remember all the words to ‘Another Tequila Sunrise’ — that’s a generational phenomenon — but I’m stuck with songs by Aztec Two Step, poems I memorized in elementary school, my lines from a play in Junior High, the way my college dorm friends took their coffee, stray facts from art history classes, the lies my first college boyfriend told me, miscellaneous jokes from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ snippets of my early attempts at writing, and Captain Kangaroo’s instructions for tying shoelaces. There’s a muddle in my head, a stew of words and stories jockeying for space in my memory.
What should I do with this mass of extraneous clutter? So far it has found its way into the mouths and back-stories of fictional characters. Maybe it’s not really extraneous? Maybe it’s just a disorganized storage bin of a writer’s equivalent of a sculptor’s studio full of ‘found objects’?