• J J Hanna

A Transparent Locked Box


I received this box when I was young. I don't remember what age, but I received it from a family friend for Christmas or my birthday or some other day when people give and receive gifts. This box is clear plastic with metal framing and a really flimsy lock. For a while, when I was young, I would keep my diary in that box. Mind you, that diary had a lock of its own. I'd hide the keys to the box in another box on my bookshelf, and I'd hide the keys to my diary in my jewelry box. I don't keep my diary in there anymore, I don't have a diary now. Just a simple composition notebook that doubles as a journal. I dislike to write the messy parts of life in a beautiful, spectacular, leather-bound book. It seems unfair to the book that I should soil it's pure pages with the pain and muck that is life. For me, at least, when I write in my journal, my life is full of pain and muck. Otherwise, what's the point of recording it? Even though I don't keep that journal in that box, I do keep the other scraps of paper there, the scraps that I couldn't tape into my journal. I find it ironic that both as a young child and now as a young adult I chose and choose to keep my secrets, the things that wrench my heart the most that I don't want anyone to read or see, in a locked, transparent box. What is the point of locking something if you can still see what's inside by looking at it? There is no point, I don't think. Especially when the keys are either tied around the handle with a blue elastic hair tie or in the dollar store pop-up bin I keep the box in, so that I don't lose them. I wouldn't want to lose my ability to get into that box, no matter how pointless locking it seems. I've heard it said that the best places to hide things are out in the open, where everyone can see them. If you can trick the world into thinking there's nothing significant inside a transparent box, no one will even try to find the key, regardless of the fact that those secrets would ruin you. So maybe that's why I keep my heart there. Or maybe it's because deep down inside I really do want someone to ask me why I have pages of a daily planner tossed haphazardly into a locked box. And maybe I want them to ask me why I felt the need, in those moments, to write what's on those pages. And maybe I don't keep my secrets in a clear box in order to hide them. Maybe, just maybe, I keep my secrets in a clear box because I'm tiredof hiding them. So go out there and take a chance. Be open with the world. Let the people who ask about your box in. Take the risk. There's no fun in life if there's never an adrenaline rush. And the adrenaline rush that comes from sharing a secret is always invigorating. One last thing: if they ask about your box, they'll also care about your answer.


© 2020 by J. J. Hanna

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