I wanted to write a short post on the last day of being in the old apartment. This is probably the first time that I have had to actually do a true move since I was living back in Minnedosa with the family. I say that because the other times I went from one place to another, I could do it in one truck load because I barely had any furniture to speak of. This time, I have couches, beds, desks, tables and a TV to move. What's more, I have five years of stuff sitting here. I was making all sorts of choices as to what was worth keeping and what was garbage to be thrown out. It was admittedly a little strange to hand off my couch at the Jackson Hole and throw out stuff I would never normally throw out.
I know this may sound contradictory to the previous post where I said I didn't care about what was furnishing my place, but it's not because I want all the stuff. It was more that the stuff I had meant something to me or had memories attached to it. Some good, some bad. I could do without a lot of stuff, but stuff also are reminders of times gone by with folks. My memory is not so good some times and I don't remember all the times I've experienced but to see something that wakes up a past event and makes it real for a moment. I think that's why we hold onto a lot of things.
I, however, have to cut out a lot of things because I need to have the freedom to move often and without a lot of hassle. I can't store anything with my family and so I have to choose what stays and what goes. Today, I threw out old letters and thank you notes (after I read them one more time). The most major item I threw out was Dad's old bowling shoes. I did it because I realized that I never go bowling anymore and they are in terrible condition and I had nowhere to put them. When I made the decision to toss them, however, I was stricken with a sharp sadness. As I carted them off to the garbage bin, I was looking at them and remembering how my dad bought them used and had used black marker to draw two little arrows on the toes. I asked him why would he do that and he jokingly replied "So that it points me down the centre of the lane." However, his drawing was a little shaky and the arrow on the right toe kind of pointed off to the left and I pointed that out to him and he said that he'll just have to turn his foot. I am sitting here at the keyboard and can not even word the mixed emotion of it. So I guess I won't.
In the movie "Saving Private Ryan", Private Ryan is talking to Captain Miller about how he can't remember any memories of his now deceased brothers. He can't picture them or hear their voices. Captain Miller responds that you can't just remember without context. When he thinks of home, he thinks of the hammock in the back yard or his wife pruning the rosebushes. For me, the context of some of those memories are in some of the things I have.
Don't get me wrong. This is good for me and I am excited. This apartment holds some of the darkest times in my life, but it's still apart of me and these useless items that I cannot take with me also hold memories.
This move turned out to be a little tougher than I thought.
"I know we don't live here anymore
We bought an old house on the Danforth
She loves me and her body keeps me warm
I'm happy here
But this is where we used to live
Broke into the old apartment
Tore the phone out of the wall
Only memories, fading memories
Blending into dull tableaux
I want them back"
- "Old Apartment" from the Barenaked Ladies' album "Born on a Pirate Ship"