READING: Clock of the Long Now – Time and Responsibility (“When I pronounce the word Future, the first syllable already belongs in the past.” – Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska)
LISTENING: And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, OSI, Van Halen, Pre-Stevie Fleetwood Mac, The Mars Volta, Puscifer…
The time has come to pare down my possessions in preparation for my upcoming move to the Department of Awesome. Now, I happen to like black trash bags. There’s something final about them. I buy ’em by the shitload (metric) and I like ’em strong. Once I’ve made up my mind that something has to leave my life, it goes in a black bag sealed beneath a sturdy square knot. There’s no coming back from one of those.
I’m looking forward to purging. There’ll be black trash bags of old clothes destined for thrift stores in little piles around the floor; bags destined for the recycling bin, or destined for Freecycle. Still others will be handed off as fast as I can get on the phone. I’ve got piles of plain black t-shirts to sort through, and hangars holding up dress shirts purchased with good intention, but never worn. Turns out I’m just not that guy.
I’ve got five or six pairs of shoes, some I never wear. Well-polished Doc Martens: stay. Continent-weary Chucks: stay. Comfortable and practical Keens: to be replaced by a new pair, the old ones discarded. The rest: go bye-bye.
I’ve got four or five extra sets of sheets, some of them reserved for guests. I won’t be needing so many of those, just as I don’t plan to be entertaining ‘guests’ any time soon.
Craigslist isn’t an option. As an Aries male, when I make a decision, that’s it — time to carry it through. I don’t want to wait around for someone else to waffle over their decision, thereby impacting mine. And I don’t want to hear, “Well, what you might want to consider is –”
No. I don’t want second- or third-fucking-guesses. I don’t wanna be told to “wait” or “reconsider”, and I certainly don’t want to be told that I should have done it “this way or that way” after the fact. That serves no purpose. Indecision drive me to distraction. If you’re the kind of person who stands in line hemming and hawing about what looks good on the menu, don’t come around for dinner. If you need twenty minutes at the post office to decide what kind of stamps best accent your eyes; please, state this on a plain cotton t-shirt, bold letters, both sides, so I know to avoid you.
Now the hard part — how do I make the distinction between what stays or goes? I’ve got a number of bags: one large suitcase for extended trips three weeks and over; a smaller one for overnight jobs when I need to travel light; a Crumpler backpack that holds all my gear for shoots, including a laptop sleeve. I’ve got a small hiking pack that perfectly holds a first-aid kit, Camelbak, raingear and a change of clothes. I’ve got another full-size pack that holds my tent, sleeping bag, mess kit and change of clothes. Finally, I’ve got a courier bag that I use every day whilst traveling around the city, valued for it’s rugged design. Getting rid of one impacts the rest.
The books are no problem — there’s always a used bookstore willing to take my dog-eared treasures, and I got rid of my DVD collection years ago — Netflix works much better. The keepers went into books to conserve space, and the jewel cases found their way to the trash after I turned my CD collection into electrons.
Kitchen stuff is easy: I don’t have a lot of it, ditto for large furniture — a desk, a computer, a papasan chair, a table to hold up the television and DVD player and a table and four chairs with which to support dinner. Those can: stay.
It’s got to be binary, yes or no. The weight bench: goes. Space considerations. The 15-pound barbell: goes, the 25-pound barbell: stays. The hammock: goes, the bed: stays. The large black carry-all which holds my emergency radio, cold weather survival gear, .45 holster, knife collection and camp light: stays. All the crap leftover from being a Windows user: gone. The old cell phones: destroyed. The meticulously maintained files of paid bills: inferno.
The love letters: go, the gun: stays.
(Note to self, buy more bullets.)