Tuesday, April 12, 2011

on moving... ( an essay)

For those of you that don't know, but do care, I recently moved. It has consumed nearly every moment of every day of my life for the last month. You would think that a single person, living alone, wouldn't have all that much to move. When I tell you that I only moved one half mile away, just a few streets away you might poo-poo my move. But, let me tell you sister friends, it has been a feat of misery and patience. The actual process was quick and almost painless, almost too quick. In two days I had an offer. In another week I had an inspection report and a demand for concessions on the offer. I was sure, and I think I still am, that it was the right thing to do.

Why did I move, you may ask? I have no earthly idea. I think the only reason is because I felt like it. My old home was perfectly lovely and it was me. I had redone almost everything in the damn thing but I wanted a change. Have you ever had on your favorite outfit and thought, I really wish I had on something else? People say, " you look good in that," so you wear it everywhere you go because it makes you look thin, or it distracts from your double chin, or it has a forgiving waistline... that was my house. That little cottage became a part of me and my identity.

My identity needed to change. I wanted a more grown up house, and I got one. It was so exciting, well it was exciting until my furniture showed up and I realized I had to get all new stuff. To continue an already beaten to death analogy, that same good looking outfit- I out grew it. But, I tried to wear it with bigger pants and it didn't work. They don't make Spanx for your new house- they make TJ MAXX. So, I digress.

The thing I didn't account for was the move. I moved out and left the house staged. This is so that the house looks like someone lives there. Only not a normal someone, someone who is extremely neat and clean with very little belongings and perfect accessories. Well, mine was half assed but the damn thing sold in two days. So, I was beside my self happy. Still, I continued a few days to live in the new house with very little furniture. For a month I've been using empty boxes and side tables with lamps. I look like a refugee who fled his homeland with only lamps and flat screen televisions strapped to his raft. It was sad.

The first move wasn't bad, it's the second move. This time I have to pack all the things that weren't important enough to move the first time. Some of you might call this trash. It's the stuff in the closet you don't wear, or the things in the attic you don't really need or remember. But, to me, these things are memories. It feels really good to purge. I think that means to get rid of old clothes, but it may mean when you lie to a judge on the stand. Either way, it feels really good. But as I emptied the house, it felt sad. I felt so strange, like a part of me was going away.

A house is a structure, a building but it is part of you. Everything I see in the attic makes me wonder why I kept it and then I think of the memories. I fear getting rid of the item is like throwing away those old memories. An old desk chair reminds me of school and more innocent times. I have an old wreath my grandmother made and a lamp that was a hand-me-down that reminds me of my parent's first house. I am sentimental, but I don't want to end up on Goddamn Hoarders.

So, I toss most of the stuff, and save a few things to clutter up the new house. I've been going over almost every night and getting a few things. I have real A.D.D. about the move. I go from one room to the next taking one or two things, never finishing the task. I realized today, after having done this for a month that it is because I'm not ready, just yet, to let go of the house. It still feels like home, and I am worried I'll forget the memories. It's corny to say but it is true like that country song. There's something about your first house, it's just always your first house.

Your home is where your babies were raised. Hell, it's where your babies are made. Everywhere I look I remember something or someone in that house. I resent that someone else will be painting over my memories and if they decide to tear it down I might actually fall apart. Today, I was in the house for probably the next-to-last time and it all seemed different. The furniture's all gone, my hot tub and patio furniture are gone so the yard looks bare, it all seems different now. Then I looked at the walls where the pictures had hung, nail holes and scratches now proudly show how careless I hang art. It was then that I realized this isn't my house anymore, it's scratched walls and faded floors. And, I thought... that bitch better take care of my old house and she better not ask me to fill all these damn nail holes, it looks like somebody had shooting practice with a nail gun all up in here.

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