#FF — While you were gone…

on

PHOTO PROMPT Β© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

This image sings that every picture has a story. Each memento, a rationale. Every cubicle is filled with paper-thin but feeling-rich associations. They are put in their proper places, one by one. They wait patiently until they are chosen in a moment for their keeper’s positive regard.

Yet even the most blessed from the memory strings can plunk out of tune. This image was taken five years ago. Today, you can no longer see the boundaries of wall, cabinet, and cache. Memory detritus overflows an ever-narrowing path in the dust of the past.

She’s on vacation when The Cleaners come.

[100 words]

Just for the record, this image looks TIDY compared to my cluttered home, so please, this is more an indictment of myself than anything!

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the sunny host of Friday Fictioneers.

58 Comments Add yours

  1. Anita says:

    So true. Every thing has its own value.
    Hope the cleaners do a good job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Anita. I also.

      Like

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    Something tells me she won’t be happy when she gets back from vacation!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Maybe irritated at first, but after awhile relieved…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. pennygadd51 says:

    You use the untidy desk as a metaphor for increasing discontent and agitation, but not in an obvious way. You’ve done it subtly, and with some nice descriptive writing. Like it!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Penny, I thank you for the close read and appreciate your feedback. Glad you like the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. neilmacdon says:

    Even the comfortable jumble of happy memory can eventuallu overwhelm. I wonder if she’ll appreciate the cleaming or hate it

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Neil, maybe a little of both? Thanks for reading and your thoughtful comment.

      Like

  5. memadtwo says:

    I know the feeling. It might be a relief for her. The stuff with sentimental value is the hardest to let go. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Oh do I know it as well. I still don’t understand why my sons aren’t interested in taking all of the things I’ve been savings of theirs when they were younger. It hurts in a way 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        My younger daughter has promised to take care of my art, but who knows? There’s so much of it. Even I don’t know what’s in all those portfolios. I still have lots of their stuff too, but they both hope to move into larger spaces this year at which time they have promised to take some of it. (K)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Well, Kerfe, I’m sure you know more about it than I do, but could you have a backup plan to bequeath your art to a museum or museums? Also good news on your daughters moving into larger spaces. One “problem” with my older son is that even though he has enough space now, he’s a minimalist, where my younger son and his wife are more what I will kindly call clutterbugs and so their space is already filled up 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          1. memadtwo says:

            No museum would want my art. It’s all process, really, and once I’m dead it certainly won’t matter to me.
            It’s interesting, when I was in my 20s I had nothing. But I’ve managed to accumulate a lot since then, despite all my moves.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              Kerfe, Kerfe, Kerfe, tsk, tsk, tsk, that humility is tearing me up. I’m sure many talented artists have said the same thing. Art needs to be preserved, whether you care about it when you’re gone or not.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. memadtwo says:

                It’s not humility, it’s reality. But it’s OK.

                Liked by 1 person

  6. elmowrites says:

    I wonder how she’ll feel when she returns. It could go either way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I wonder also and agree with you.

      Like

  7. I’m with you, Lisa. Compared to my house, this space looks pretty organized! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Awesome. It feels good to not be alone in this lol

      Liked by 1 person

  8. plaridel says:

    whoa! i don’t think she’d like what has happened while she’s gone. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’m sure it would be a shock to her system at first.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. GHLearner says:

    This feels familiar. I’m left with the keepsakes of two households and can’t let go of some of the things. We are overwhelmed with things. The memories should still be there without them. It’s like being more concerned to take pictures rather than enjoy the moment. I love that take.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Gabi, glad you could relate to it. I think a lot of time things act as external memory for us. About taking pictures, a different use perhaps. I think in the case of things, one way to allow oneself to be released from them would be to take pictures. Pictures might serve the same function?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. GHLearner says:

        Good point. Maybe for events… but there are some very personal things, like crocheted pieces or embroidered pieces from mum and grandma… furniture made by the FIL who was a cabinet maker and so on. I couldn’t let go of these until I had to… πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Ok ok, you can keep one (large) box of stuff πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. GHLearner says:

            πŸ˜€ Thank you! (Where to put the furniture… hmmm…) No, seriously, when I see how quickly people lose their posessions when desaster or war strikes, I feel spoiled.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Reena Saxena says:

    Filing physical documents is an art and science. Virtual files are erasable, and mental files change form. One keeps searching for a constant.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re absolutely right, Reena, and I wonder if a constant even exists beyond that of “no-constant.”

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sandra says:

    This could go either way on her return. I’m betting it’s likely not to end well though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I agree, at least at first. Thanks for reading and your thoughtful comment, Sandra.

      Like

  12. As cleaning jobs go that could be quite an interesting one, who knows what they’ll come across?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Oh I’m sure that the perceived — and maybe actual — value of what’s in there keeps it in place and growing…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I enjoyed the way this unfolded. I don’t think she’ll be happy the place has been tidied up when she gets back from vacation. But, she’ll have it looking her way in no time. Unless … she’s not coming back. Mmmmm … Nice take on the prompt …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Isadora I like the twist possibility that she isn’t coming back πŸ™‚ Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Bill says:

    Wonderfully done, Lisa. You made so much of the objects come to life. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Bill, glad you enjoyed the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps my imagination’s gone off course. I see a sinister motive ‘when The Cleaners come”.
    Great piece that grabs the prompt by the horns and brings the image alive.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      James, I can definitely see where The Cleaners might have less than benevolent intent… Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comment πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. calmkate says:

    Nailed it Lisa … everything does look like it holds a special memory! I prefer homes to look lived in rather than showy museums πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Kate!

      Like

      1. calmkate says:

        pleasure Lisa!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Michael says:

    I find that my memories give a value to most things. Cleaners be aware…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      lol. Imagining the person’s kids buying her a trip to Hawaii or something and then she comes back…

      Like

  18. Margaret says:

    I like the undercurrent of foul play in this. I kept going back to it to check if it was just my macabre mind, but the ‘Cleaners’, rather than just plain old lower case ‘cleaners’ and their sudden appearance right at the end definitely adds a sinister note. I love it, and even if I’m wrong, I still love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Margaret, thank you and very happy you liked what you saw a sinister undercurrents. I’m not sure what’s going on either but things are definitely about to change…

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Nobbinmaug says:

    My roommate’s desk behind me. CHAOS! It’s a good thing it’s behind me.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Everything has a physical place and a place in memories…. yep compared to our house…that is sparse lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      For sure on everything and same here, Max πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  21. granonine says:

    This story brought my mother to mind. She was a keeper of her precious things; things that had grown dusty and unattractive, due to her failing eyesight. She hated to let anything go. They all held a memory she treasured,

    Lots of nuance, lots of layers, in this story. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Linda, your mom and I are kindred spirits. Oh, the things I hold onto! I’m glad my story reminded you of your dear mother. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Dear Lisa,

    I hazard to think what the Cleaner might actually do in my room. πŸ˜‰ Each of those knickknacks represent an event or a fond memory. I realize your story isn’t about me. Perhaps it’s the artist in us that causes us to cling to every artifact and display them as if our studios are museums of our lives. At any rate, I enjoyed your story and related to it well.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rochelle, I completely understand about the knickknacks and what they represent, and I agree about artists. So glad you enjoyed the story, thank you.
      Shalom,
      Lisa

      Like

  23. And I was sitting here last night looking at the knickknacks in my own niche, thinking i should start heaving stuff into a Goodwill box. But I think not . . . not yet. Someday someone else will imbue them with new memories. But not yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      I understand, Eugenia. That’s about where I’m at with it. Thank you for reading and your comment.

      Like

  24. Laurie Bell says:

    Oh no, those poor cleaners. Someone will lose their mind when she gets back, and I’m not sure who I’d rather it be. My other Nana was a hoarder. And cleaning out her place was a nightmare for my mum.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, it’s a tricky situation on both sides of the hoarding. Thanks for reading and your comment, Laurie.

      Like

  25. Foleo says:

    Your post is like a blessing for us from God…. Loved it 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Foleo πŸ™‚

      Like

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