Home Improvement · Housekeeping · Writers Write

Down Memory Lane

I’ve been spending time with my shredder. He’s a dirty little beast, but he gets the job done.shredder

Yesterday, I emptied a file cabinet and discovered twenty-five years of tax returns. I put aside the requisite seven and started to toss the rest.

Then Bacon said, “Our social security numbers  are on those pages.”

“And?”

“We’d better shred them.”

He fed paper into the black mouth–grinding his way through a few years. The girls called him in to watch their favorite show, Criminal Minds. He traded the gore of the shredder for the gore of network television.

This morning, I found the pile on the floor of my studio. I paged through the long forms. A plumbers bill from long ago rental property. Adoption expenses from 2002. A hotel receipt from a trip to Mexico. The history of our lives by tax ledger.

I felt guilty destroying those records. I’ve spent my days hoarding memories to use later. It seemed like sacrilege to turn them into confetti.