I've done that in every single place I have ever lived in as an adult. In some, I deliberately left the boombox as the last thing to go, and I would sit on a bare floor and listen to music and contemplate everything, all the conversations, all the experiences I had had in that room.
Obviously, in places I had only lived for a short time -- to me that's less than six months -- I didn't perform this ritual so faithfully. But in many cases where I had spent two or more years in, it was quite a long, drawn-out affair. Sometimes even tears were shed as I remembered.
There was a theory that I read about once, that said that sounds -- you know, the things that travel in waves at around 750 mp/h -- never actually die completely; they just diminish over time. Lots of time.
And one can't really argue with the theory. After all, once you start looking into the quantum world, things just keep getting smaller and smaller, just as in the macro world, things just keep getting vaster and vaster. And so far, I have heard NO PHYSICIST announce that they had finally found the smallest particle able to exist. Every time they find that, someone else finds something smaller.
So is it so impossible to imagine that an echo never really dies away? That it just keeps getting smaller and smaller, and if you somehow had the audio equipment to find it, you could scan back 20 years and hone in on a particular conversation that was still echoing about a particular room? There is nothing in the laws of physics to say that is impossible.
My family has lived in this house in one form or another since 1979. That isn't such a long time ago, in temporal terms. In fact, it's the quantum blink of an eye; after all, they say that the universe as we know it expanded from an infinitely dense point (whatever THAT is) to space as we almost know it now, ie. billions of light years across -- in a fraction of a second. In a fraction of a second things went from impossibly small to impossibly huge.
So, as I sit here now, in this nearly empty room, I sift through nearly 35 years of memories. Is it so far fetched that a conversation my father and mother had (this was once their bedroom) back in 1982 is still echoing between these walls? If only we could get the equipment sophisticated enough to find it?
I believe yes; in maybe the far future, we will have sophisticated enough equipment to do this.
So, as this room undergoes its umpteenth rebirth, I do what I described above in reverse. I think of all the things that have happened in this room and think of all the things that WILL happen in this room . . . as I sit here now, the music of Bach echoes forlornly against the hard parquet flooring and the newly-painted walls . . . and six months from now, this same space might be filled with objects from top to bottom, undergoing yet another renaissance, with no end in sight, at least as far as I'm concerned.
Perhaps the metaphor of Tony Montana Shooting Steve Jobs, who is offering him an apple, is pertinent here . . . one offers life, while the other offers death.
I only listen to the impossible echoes and wonder if one day, these keys clacking on my keyboard will be resurrected on someone's computer.