24 June 2009

while packing (i.e., a distraction)

my life is on hold as i prepare to move again, for the seventh time in just under four years. i feel good about this one: i like my new apartment, and i'm excited about my situation. i haven't felt as good about all of them.

it's amazing the things you discover while packing your life into boxes. i am always surprised by how much stuff i accumulate over the course of a year (or in this case, 14 months). there is no reason for any person [my age] to have this much stuff. things get tucked into corners and forgotten about. stories get shoved onto shelves or into drawers. those same stories are barely even told when they are rediscovered months or years later to be shuttled to a new station, a new place to be left and dismissed. rather, they occur, as a flash of memory that plays out like a subliminal message in a television commercial: if they do it right, you won't even notice. a flood of endorphins. a feeling you've forgotten how to name. a face you never wanted to remember.

someone used to comment on how every item in my room has a story. the game then became, choose one, and i'll tell it. we killed a few minutes at a stretch that way.

the trick when you're packing to move is deciding which stories you want to keep. we are alternately rescued and damned by the dumpster behind the building. if you could live with a gap in your memory, would you choose to do it? would you be faulted for it by those who couldn't comprehend the choice?

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