Monday, August 31, 2009

The junk spiral

I have reached a point in my life where I now have to sell off possessions. I'm moving in a month's time and literally have an attic's worth of useless crap I must sadly part with. Yes, I said useless and sadly.

I've been living like a student these past few years. I really have. I just keep moving and seeing each new rental with temporary intentions of staying forever. I see a place, envision how I can live there for keeps (meaning several years) and then invariably move out in two or less. Usually less. I've been here just over a year and so clearly it's time to move on.

But this time I really do plan on staying longer. I really do. I hate moving. Why I keep doing something I hate is kind of confusing, but I really don't enjoy that surreal disjointed feeling of sitting in a new apartment and totally not feeling at home even though it is home.

In prep for this move I'm selling off an IKEA rug that we (the Dude and I) bought to cover a urine stain on the floor. We did not notice this when we looked at the place initially, but yes, right in the living room is a patch that has been destroyed by cat urine. So we did what any reasonable people do. First we had multiple seances with vinegar and baking soda and various chemicals to remove the smell at least, and then in failure we bought a charming IKEA rug to hide it. With presumably no urine stains in our future, we're getting rid of the rug.

We're also selling an IKEA desk that an ex of mine gave me. Why? Don't need it, don't have room. In four years that desk has seen four apartments (I told you I moved often). Time to let go, man.

Also getting rid of a wooden futon frame that used to be my bed when I was a student, before I made my first most adulty purchase ever: a pillowtop bed. I love that bed. We call it the cloud.

And then there's the curb treasure the Dude brought home one day. Dude likes to pick up stuff from the side of the road and bring it into the house. Whenever we pass by junk tossed out or waiting to be picked up, he nudges me and says, "free chair," "free lamp", "free shoe." Yard sales now makes me tense because he's worse than your average 69.3-year-old grandma. He lives for yard sales, and used book stores selling old publications that are out of print for a buck. He's brought home a bike, tea set, small stand, two lamps, a ridiculous heavy chair, pictures frames, and I can't remember what else.

So selling this one chair is a small victory for me. He insists if it wasn't falling apart, it would be a vintage collector's piece. I'm selling it for $15, or free.

There is something liberating about removing the excess in your life. There's also something kind of sad about selling off things that you have acquired. I remember a time when I was anxious to take anyone's junk off their hands so I could have a place to sit, dishes, a TV... This is the cycle of junk coming full circle, much like the circle of life, only not quite so majestic.


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