Opening Pandora’s Box

by Kara Santiago
(c) Kara Santiago 2009

An old YM conversation printed out on 8 long sheets of recycled bond paper, a worn out greeting card, a few photographs, and a recent journal I forgot I even had — welcome to my unexpected afternoon of nostalgic sorts.

For the few things that belonged to my past, they came to me as no surprise. There was the usual horrid look on my face while I was reading my typing ‘style’ back in 2006 and of course, expressions of disgust with how I dressed as an awkwardly tall 12-year-old. (Note: A yellow baseball cap, a brown short-sleeved tee, and flared jeans. Disgusting.) The transcript wannabe, however, contained a conversation with my best friend I wish I never had. Reading it sent me laughing my ass off because of how immature I saw relationships back then. Who knew I’d gauge love with such a clueless point of view?

Putting my pre-teen self aside, I came across a journal entry I wrote exactly 6 months ago. The words read like chicken scratch, the emotions stared at me point-blank. It left me wandering off to a time I wish I never went through.

I won’t go into so much detail explaining the latter because really, it is quite irrelevant at the moment. But then again, I may be shying away from the fact of facing the stretch of rekindling the vivid episodes I dare not touch. I am a professed coward when put into battle against myself — I tend to hide under my little black hole. That 20-minute bracket definitely felt like a thousand stabs and a million gunshots.

It was right there and then that I began to give my definition to the power of words, and actually attest to it. ‘You can feel emotions at any given period,’ I said to myself, ‘but you can never bring the same intensity back unless you’ve laid it down on paper.’

I would be a hypocrite if I told you I feel delighted I’ve kept that memory and gave it some posterity. Because, quite frankly, I regret using my journal as an outlet for my repressed emotions. But going back to that solitary Sunday night, I probably would’ve done the same thing. I’d still cry my heart out, pour it into paper, and then write about it today…

…because pain, not absence, makes the heart grow fonder.

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