T-minus 48 Hours.

In 48 hours we leave with all of our stuff. 48 hours is the sum total of nearly the entire drive across America’s heartland. If we leave now, pile on the No-Doze, shotgun some Red Bull and blast some cold air we’ll get there before lift off. How odd that might be.

We have, officially, an assload of boxes. We ran out yesterday for round two and can still fill them all. I’m not sure how two people in a one bedroom, 800 square foot apartment have this much crap. It’s unsettling. And the look of it, the yang to its yin, reminded me of a story.

I once knew a girl named Jamie who lived with a boy named Jon. They both went through this phase where the goal was to own little-to-no stuff. They lived in a massive two bedroom apartment on College Avenue in State College. They had one pot for making soup. A few plates. One set of silverware. Two thin, camping mattresses. Some clothing (only because they wished to avoid arrest—however, if it were up to the two of them, everyone would be naked and everyone would practice free, Manson-family love. A story for another day.) They had one shower curtain covering a rod holding two towels. I think Jamie had a hair brush. But Jon shaved his head so he needed little-to-nothing when it came to items found in the bathroom. There was one ashtray next to one alarm clock. And a small table for eating the soup. There were two cold brown chairs at the table, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call them visitors. They were beaten and old and barely functioning. I wish I could say I was exaggerating. Surely these two would have failed miserably during a heated game of Family Feud when the survey called for “Items Found at Home.” I so would not have wanted to be a part of their family.

Anyway, the two of them were weird for a while. Not weird in a real way, but weird in that way one attained from a used philosophy book on existentialism.

Jon was allowed to have many books. Jamie had a boom-box for playing cds. They did not have furniture to hold said items, which were just strewn across the floor like apartment rodents and obstacles for the feet. For me, the apartment lacked a skeleton, its guts lie about as if it were victim to a hit-and-run. Jamie used candles to see her way as lamps were things. It was always dark in there, day and night. And I think even the huge Pennsylvania trees outside the apartment’s bare windows yearned for their usual view of human stuff.

One night, as Jamie and Jon were inhaling whip-its through their only prized possession, it occurred to me how much I wanted to have stuff around me and how absurd this all seemed. As I inhaled my cigarette I pondered ways to get through to them and game stuff into their life. We could have a whip-it poker game.

I’ll see your whip-it, and raise you three more for a rocking chair and a cup of hot chocolate!

Yesterday as I’m sitting on the floor surrounded by boxes and boxes of items I can no longer name even though I just packed them up not minutes before, I remember Jamie and Jon and their quest to rid their life of its stuff. I remember how cold that floor was in their dark-brown apartment. I remember the echo of our late teenage voices and the sound of skinny mice running through empty cabinets in search of anything other than the smell of a left over whip-its and cigarette tainted breath. Suddenly all these boxes seem sort of comforting, like moveable walls leading me someplace soft, whip-it free and hopefully alot less brown.

14 Comments

  1. Farewell…best of luck in San Fran. Please keep posting…you have made the last year plus of reading your site very enjoyable. My best to your husband as well.

    Reply

  2. Oh, I’ll surely keep posting. I have nothing to do once we arrive. I have no job lined up. So instead, I’ll just fill the INTERNET with more mindless HTML and images from the west.

    And we’ll be back in the future. Not sure when yet. But DC is never going to be out of my system, especially as long as Missy lives here.

    Reply

  3. i will have to make sure to pass today’s posting on to mitch…
    after returning home from DC he is convinced that we have too much stuff and is on a mission to wittle things down. i only assume that this has something to do with your packing up and throwing stuff out. maybe he thought this way before, but the timing here seems more than just a coincidence.
    …and your plants are doing very well here. Blondie has been sniffing around the bamboo quite a bit. i think she smells kittys.

    Reply

  4. I think a weight analogy might work here. A little chub—is kind of nice. Obesity, is probably a sign you might thin down a bit and you’re being too excessive. Too skinny is unhealthy and uncomfortable to the touch.

    My name is mihow, I speak in shitty metaphors.

    Reply

  5. he is skinny…
    and has very high metabolism.
    maybe this carries over somehow?
    i like the analogy. there’s something to this. the zen of mihow. mihow fortune cookies. maybe an advice column. why am i trying to market your mihow? maybe this corporate job thing is effecting me before i’ve even bagun.

    Reply

  6. i mean begun. (or began.) (?)
    started.

    Reply

  7. Mitch isn’t too skinny. He’s perfect. :] And his dancing makes him perfect plus some.

    Reply

  8. he can bust a move or 2…

    how many boxes are you up to? do all of the boxes fit in your apartment? is there still room for the 2 of you? visual aids? i like moving out pictures.
    and have you seen tucker lately?

    Reply

  9. Ask and you shall receive.

    Reply

  10. I hope you have labeled all your boxes and kept a detailed inventory of all the items contained therein!

    Reply

  11. currently, each box has a big label that says:

    “stuff”

    Reply

  12. This is so right. Sometimes life is so unpredictable, that it starts looking like a Omaha Hi poker game. The stakes are always high, so bet with caution.

    Reply

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