It’s 5:17am and I’m up smelling that horrible coffee smell, possibly for the last time. The final full day in Ontario, quite possibly forever. There were a few last-minute offers to stay but they were really more idealistic procrastination stalls.
I forced the play and although I’m not ready on a few levels, I am tired of not being ready. My brain is grasping for excuses. Even now, as I sit up in bed, I am flipping back and forth trying to decide if I really need to be awake right now, or if I could drift back for another shift of lazy rest. Since I turned off the ceiling light last night, I have been awake about 10 times.
The room is July hot. 35° this morning with a small fan maintaining air circulation. It was more comfortable than the last two nights and desire frequently rose to pee, the sleep in between was deep and fun. I had created a storyline to dream and each 90-minute nap was slightly different than the previous dream, but along the same premise.
I wake up and pee a lot when the room is hot and the humidity is low. Luckily, I seem to be capable of falling back into rem quickly all night.
So now all I have to do today is 10 times the amount of work I’ve accomplished in the two weeks prior. Pack things up to throw out, leave or share. I truly want to be as little inconvenience to the homeowner house-made as I can be, but at the same time, I am aware I could walk away now leaving everything where it is, and the mess of tech clutter would be assimilated into the home over time like everything else is.
Already I have seen items I tried to throw out, magically re-appear in a new pile off to the side my trash has been under constant review. The more I leave behind, the happier I think he is, as long as we’re careful to avoid using the H word. He is an artist that collects items that can be used for undefined future projects in multi-media. He is not a hoarder.
Few phrases are sure to trigger a burst of rage faster than trying to tell him he’s not perfect in every way. It was one of the earliest roommate rules I had to learn.
I sincerely believe it has been more painful for him than it has been for me to watch me generate bags and bags of garbage to throw away each week. Like an addict watching somebody else smoke, his body flinches if he can’t see what I’m classifying as trash and bagging for the street. So many things that could be added to piles around the property.
In a strange way, it has changed my own feelings for my own possessions. I have always downsized with each move. Keeping things is easy. You just need boxes. I’ve always thrown some things away with every move, some because my financial situation has declined, and some just because I have not unpacked things from the previous move.
Today’s move is different. It’s an almost insane amount of loss. I am tossing virtually everything I’ve ever held onto. The last remaining hold-outs to my life before I went on meds for my obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Tiny mementoes and memories I may not even care about, but think I should.
My wisdom teeth, sand from the Bahamas, and 4 casino chips from various vacations. Other items that are just my favourites were equally hard to let go of. My favourite orange lighter and childhood bowls, and spoons I’ve used since I was 5.
I couldn’t bring myself to leave behind my two favourite forks. It took me years to find a style with the heft and weight I like and it could take years to find replacements so I am hopeful the airline will allow me to forks in my carrying on. It was painful enough to give up my two favourite knives But I knew they would be stopped at check-in.
As I sit in my bed writing this as 6:00 a.m. up coaches I look around and I continue to see more and more of the items I will be saying goodbye to like my lava lamps. I know I don’t need them and they hold no specific memory value except the memory of how long it took me to figure out how to get them to turn on and off from my web page.
Other things were not as difficult to discard. My entire wardrobe contained very few items that held any memorable significance. It all went into bags and the bags went into bins and the bins went to the salvation army or other shared pool places. All of them were filthy and likely filled with bed bugs, but donating them was free and would cost me to throw them out. I try not to think of myself as evil as I suspect that donated clothes get washed anyway and some of them were still quality garments. Just dirty
One of the main reasons I’ve decided to take such a clean break as I move across the country over 4,000 km was to start fresh without bed bugs. The only way I knew how was to travel with a t-shirt a new pair of jeans and socks and less than 20 items in a carry-on bag that has been cleaned as best I can.
I am reminded of all of the migrants who came to this country and they share a similar story of moving from their home country to a new country with $20 in their pocket and nothing more. I have no idea whether any of those stories are true, or exaggerated, including my father’s origin story in Canada. But as I started to throw things out, I realized it was possible.
As I approached my 60th birthday later this year, I realized that most of the items I was keeping were just triggers for stories. The stories are the important part and I’ve been blogging and taking notes. I don’t need that Van Halen t-shirt from the ’80s to remember an uneventful Van Halen concert.
Acquiring new things is more fun than bringing along my past in a collection of items I may never touch again.
The hardest among these to leave behind are the written journals stories and scripts from my teenage years. My brain wants to keep them with the default impression that I will find the time and patience to read them again and find joy in how different – or how similar I am today from the version of me before computers.
Who I think I am compared to who I was. While packing, I did look at some of them and it’s still very hard to give up on my yearbooks and my journals troubled times with best friends that irritated the hell out of me. They are not being thrown away. They’re just being hidden away in a pile with the fake understanding That they will remain behind, here in a corner under a broken air conditioner and beside a pile of plastic scraps. Things don’t get thrown out around here. The piles just get higher and there is a certain comfort in that that I understand better today.
It’s 6:00 a.m. part of me still wants to put my head back on the pillow and sleep till 2:00 p.m. with the faults idea that all of the tasks that have to be completed today are really minimal if I put my mind to it instead of the reality that there’s way too much to do to complete today. Both scenarios are more depressing than they need to be but that’s who I am. I overthink procrastination. If the task is overwhelming, I figure out ways to not do it.
Breakfast time! Turn up the music and don’t turn the lights off till later tonight!
Edit: now 8:30 a.m. and I’m already taken several breaks I’m just sitting and contemplating with eyes open or closed. I’ve had a ham and cheese paper for breakfast and the radiator is playing. Step one is completed. I moved my best work computer down to his area on the 55 inch TV. I came back up the got some additional cables but I’ll probably take another rest break.
End of part 2.