Tuesday, May 17, 2005

They came to evaluate my miserable existence

The alarm went off at 7 a.m., a short few hours after I finally made it to bed. Company was coming. Well, not company exactly, but some people who wanted to poke around my closets and cabinets and put a value on how much it would cost to move the accumulation of nearly 40 years of trinkets from one state to another.

Sometimes I think I have way too much stuff. Sometimes, I feel like I don't have much to show for a lifetime of living. Mostly I think I have too much stuff that looks more like it belongs in a college dorm room than in an adult's apartment.

My couch I bought as my first furniture purchase after graduating from college in 1989. I am probably still paying interest on that $300 purchase today. The recliner came a little later, when I had paid down the credit card balance enough to fit that on there. Most of the rest of my furniture has been given to me by family or friends.

Before the people from the moving companies were scheduled to arrive, I hauled some newspaper, probably a couple hundred pounds worth, down to the recycle bin. I bet if I looked somewhere in one of the stacks that's still left in my apartment, I probably have newspapers in there dating back to last summer, shortly after I moved in. I wish I were one of those people that cleaned up right after making a mess, took out my trash and recyclable stuff every time I traipse down the stairs. But I don't. And one day becomes the next. And stuff stacks up.

I have a fear of becoming one of those people you hear about every few years being found trapped in their own apartment, when a large stack of newspapers, magazines and junk mail collapse on top of them or cut off their path to the door, like this

OK, I'm not that bad. There is plenty of open floor space in my apartment. But then I've only lived here about a year. But there was enough of that guy in me to freak out my ex. She confessed at one point that I reminded her of one of her elderly relatives, who I met on a vacation trip a couple of years ago. He had a walking path through stacks of papers in his room. He also had stuff stacked, and apparently stored, on top of his bed, leaving a little strip of space for him to lay down on one side of the bed.

I'm not that bad either. Maybe that's just because my career choices have lead to moving every few years, which has provided opportunities to pitch out newspapers, magazines and junk mail.

So anyway, the people came to see my collected mishmash of bric-a-brac. Sooner or later, my stuff may actually make it on a truck for the trek to Oregon. And if it arrives, life will pick up in a new town and a new apartment with rent being paid from a new job.

If I live that long. And if I get a nap.

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