Day #1 of Packing: Cycling Loss
Today it’s First Aid Kit on repeat. Thoughts crashing in on themselves lie waves as I remove clothes from draws and pictures from walls and myself from this place piece by piece. Today it’s just straight up loss.
39 degrees in the house and I feel like I’m going through some sort of baptism of fire. This does the trick, a little bit, because it reminds me that our new apartment is brick and will have better insulation.
I listen to sad songs by girls with great harmonies and every now and then I have to lie down for a little while. I suppose I could distract myself by listening to a podcast but this time I really want to feel all my feelings, the good ones and the ones that hurt.
It is important to feel sad, to get to know how much you love a place while you still get to live there.
Day #2 or Packing: Goodbye Cat Friend.
I start sorting through my wardrobe but soon I have to stop because the thought of giving most of this away makes me start to sweat, and feel stupid. They are just shoes. They are just things. Except they are just not. All these things are tied to moments, specific ones; I’ll always remember going to see the John Butler trio playing at the Palais Theatre for the first time, but will I remember that it was the first time I’d worn high heeled platform sandlals and that I couldn’t walk properly because the ribbons kept coming undone and we almost missed the tram?
Is that even worth remembering? Or, if I make space in my wardrobe, will I also make space in my brain?Writing them down is no good because I can’t resist the urge to turn everything into a story.
But this is how you get through it, by writing,. by making. The only way to heal your pain is to art your way through it.
Cat Friend comes up to our porch looking for a pat and some food and my heart can’t take his little scratched up nose. After sitting for a while in front of the empty bowl, he settles down to sleep on the front step, knowing that each time I wialk past the front door I’ll be reminded that I am abandoning him to some cold, hungry nights.
He is going to be okay. Just as I am going to be okay. He’s going to hunt the mice that will still live in our front garden just as I am going to hunt donuts from the homemade donuts shop that is on the same block as our new place.
Day #3 of Packing: Coming Around
We’ve packed our bookshelves up and taken the art off the walls and this makes me feel better, like we’re removing ourselves slowly, carefully, but totally. Each blank wall space makes this place feel a little less like home, and so a little easier to leave.
I watch the whole first season of broad city while wrapping mugs in the old clothes I’ve promised K. that I will give to the Salvation Army. Their no-fucks-given attitude is like a warm hug and I am reminded that most people my age don’t have a backyard to put a hammock in.
I’m feeling okay. These moments will be what I call home for a while, but I know it won’t be long until I move on to make another set. They wont go, only shift from moments to memories
I am useless and helpless. Everything is moving too quickly, I feel like I’m being wrenched out, like I’m holding onto the doorframe by my fingernails. I have no place to retreat, no safe space to plant my flag, to stop and take deep breath. He should know how I am suffering, but there is work to be done. My Dad calls me to see if we need help, and he can hear the tears in my voice, the depression sitting in my throat, coating my speech as I try to lift another box of books that is too heavy for me. My parents drive across town to come and help me lift those boxes and I feel a little better because they are there. They are my safe space, I have planted my flag in their hearts.
We pile things into cars and on the way to the new house I lie down in the backseat, my head resting on a stuffed toy Gorilla.
I know now, all I have to do to get back home is siay your number, or say your name three times under my breath, and wait for you to call. Sometimes I still wait for you to tell me it’s going to be okay.
Brunswick, Melbourne: Coming Home
Even though the space is smaller, I can finally actually breath. In fact,
I even like the closeness of the little brick huddle. Sharing a building feels like I’m part of something bigger, part of a community. Safe. Even the sounds you can hear in the kitchen of the people walking around upstairs helps to calm me. The floors are wood cool under my feet and we have ceiling fans and an electric oven.
Our first night in we walk to the bar one block over, and have beer and burgers and talk like we haven’t in a long while. We drink tea on the couch like we used to in the old house and I can feel it coming on, I can feel it coming back to me.
Home isn’t all the stuff in those boxes, it isn’t the weatherboard walls or the garden gate or the stray cat showing up every evening at six. Home is the place that holds the time I get to spend with you.