He felt a bit like he was about to be a geologist, digging through sedimentary layers, each a specific epoch. He was rather proud of his usual ability to keep things in order, but the attic was Waldo’s one organizational weakness, the dumping ground for things he did not feel like dealing with and stowed away to be faced at some vague later time that never seemed to come.
“Until now,” he said aloud as he pulled the chain to turn on the lone lightbulb, its exposed light suddenly dividing all the piles into opposing camps of harsh brightness and dense shadow. He came up armed with a stack of empty boxes, determined to devote the day to getting things properly sorted out. But as he looked around him, he was overwhelmed by the idea of even knowing where to begin.
He decided to start in one of the front corners and make his way around the room from there. With a resigned sigh, he knelt down, glad he had worn some old jeans to deal with the layers of dust and grime across the floor.
The first thing he found there was a tall, unwieldy pile of papers, which he managed to knock over as soon as he touched it, sending them fluttering like crisp, flat snowflakes all around him. “Dammit!” Waldo muttered, thinking this was a bad sign of how successfully this project was going to go.
“What is all this, even?” He gathered up the fallen pages and began flipping through them. He quickly realized that they were old song ideas, hastily scribbled and just as hastily forgotten. He didn’t even remember coming up with most of this, and began going through the pages more slowly, wondering if there were any buried gems hiding there. Sometimes his scrawl was hard for even him to make out, and he smiled a little as he saw the evidence of those forceful fits of inspiration that sometimes overtook him on particularly caffeinated days, when everything that came into his head seemed so pointedly brilliant that he could hardly stand it. He began making a stack of the orphan songs that sounded like they had promise, suddenly much less interested in organizing.