Monday, 29 October 2007

life laundry

The property agent who showed me around the flat almost blushed when the downstairs neighbour hoiked up the volume of his radio. The opera he was listening to permeated the floorboards and reverberated through the whole top floor of the house that was to be my home. This was no deterrent. I had already become entranced by the fireplace sitting prettily at the far end of one of the vast, empty rooms and by the midday sun spilling through the windows and onto the floor. The tension rolled off of my shoulders and my brow unfurrowed. This place was the peace and calm I had been hoping for. I could breathe again here.

The February sunshine was uncommonly warm and accommodating on the day of my move. Adrenaline fuelled, James and I shifted my many material accumulations in boxes and bags up the numerous staircases. In a matter of hours, I was installed.

The afterglow of this achievement, which felt like a homecoming and a new adventure at the same time, stayed with me for many months but dwindled eventually never the less. The unpacked boxes stacked up in shadowy corners began to prey on my conscience. Amidst the trinkets and triumphant acquisitions in these boxes there were tokens and mementos that transported me to darker days. Here, neatly boxed up, was my emotional baggage collected and clung on to. Still shaping me, still occupying valuable space in my life. It was time for the sentimental me to part with this unhappy crap, no matter how bittersweet the memories.

My heart rate increased as I began to select what was worthy of being kept and what wasn’t. As the contents of a black bin liner expanded, so did my sense of accomplishment. Photographs of people best forgotten, match book reminders of disappointing dates, half hearted airport bought perfume gifts, generic and cloying and thoughtlessly unsuitable were deposited into the plastic abyss. Phone numbers written in drunken scrawl, once collected like trophies, were now shamefully disposed of along with snapshot memories of nightclub intoxication. Clothes that one clung to a malnourished form, too small to actually keep me warm, replaced with more ladylike attire to cover my now healthy curves. Music shared with friends who really weren’t my friends at all. Elements of myself explored but now discarded.

A refined me, liberated and smiling, made my way downstairs and outside and dumped the sadness that I had been juggling for such a long time. On the following Friday I slept soundly as the metal teeth of the early morning rubbish collection chewed up what I had thrown away.


Northern Creative said...

There was a little poetic licence applied in this piece. I didn't throw it all away, only what couldn't be recycled or passed on to someone else. RECYCLE YOUR STUFF FOLKS.

Anonymous said...

"...replaced with more ladylike attire to cover my now healthy curves..."

May the gain of these physiological 'trinkets, tokens and mementos' aka 'healthy curves' be with you always.

I trust all the matchbooks were passed on to one or more deserving pyromaniacs?


sub-editing the soul said...

feels great don't it...
i did the same on my move too, although i doubt i could have put it so beautifully :-)
hope you're well and still a happy hippy in your home

Northern Creative said...

hi sub-editing the soul. glad to know you're still out there and enjoying similar theraputic benefits following your own relocation. don't sub-edit too hard.x

i know it's wrong, but... said...

don't worry, i won't - i'm far too busy singing that damn Leona Lewis song - it just won't leave me alone

Kay Richardson said...

Oy! Why ain't you written in a while? I have!

Anonymous said...

I concur with Mr. Richardson, is not the laundry through the spin cycle by now?

dormerportal said...

ah the joys of brutal de-cluttering. As you know i am a great exponent of the same. long may you be feng shui-ed and free m'dear