I have six pens in my pocket…

Current Book: Richard Brookhiser – The Adamses, 1735 – 1918, America’s First Dynasty

Again, a big gap in postings which means that I can’t recount all the important stuff. Or maybe only the important stuff. In any event, unless you’re a hard core fan of the minutia of my life, scroll down now!

For the rest of you, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This weekend I made substantial progress in getting the house in order. I did it in the classic way: by giving myself two easily acheivable goals. First was to assemble the two bookcases I bought last week. Second was to stack all the loose papers that filled the floor of what should be the living room, but what had become the “file room”. By telling myself over and over that was all I had to do, I of course got excited by the tidier space and branched out from there. I went from the floor to the super cluttered living room desk, to changing the sheets, to taking things to the dry cleaner, to sorting through boxes of books to picking coins off the floor (don’t ask) to transcribing phone info into the palm desktop. Some of the things I discovered:
A. I owned ten pairs of sunglasses, most some variation on aviator frames and all very cheap. I chucked eight of them. On top of that I “found” three pairs of perscription glasses that I haven’t been wearing. Since lately I’ve been despairing at my worsening far sightedness, I should probably start wearing these.
B. I tend to leave pens in the pockets of clothes as part of a cycle where “I can’t find a single pen!” when i went though all those pockets and all of my shoulder bags I ended up with tons of them:thus the title for this post.
C. It’s better to admit that I won’t read something than to save it. I’ve got tons of announcements, catalogs, newspapers, etc. in the apartment that are only there because I think that I’ll get to them. I won’t, and for all the time I don’t they sit there and make me anxious and guilty.
D. My body is inherently messy. When you are hirsute, hair comes off of you and ends up on the floor more often than not. without regular removal, it can make your living space hirsute as well.
E. Placing bags of garbage on the curb feels good. Farewell to the six books of ‘while you were out memos that i was holding onto in order to save contact numbers. Some of them were from eight years ago. I know: a gold mine for my biographers, now gone for ever.

There’s more and more of this stuff of course. One of the most crucial points is that the same information can either make me clean more (as it did this weekend) or make me despair and cringe in my bed (as it has over the past few months). Some of this has to do with available time: when I get into the cycle of Home work shop sleep, I can only note the problem. When I feel that I have more time available, I can devise some strategies for moving it along As it was, I barely left the house Saturday, and got very little Christmas shopping done Sunday. But if it means that after two years I can start to fully inhabit my house, then it’s fine by me.

0 Comments +

  1. Six pens none the richer

    …unless you’re a hard core fan of the minutia of my life, scroll down now…

    I’d say I’m a big fan of reading about anything other than what I’m supposed to be reading.

    As a fellow who spent the weekend making garbage come forth from closets and to the curb, I feel all the better about Christmas.

    My friends keep prompting me to join Paytrust, which would forward all my bills to Sioux Falls, SD whereupon they will be scanned in, destroyed and available for me to view (and pay) digitally, online.

    The concept is appealing.

  2. “D. My body is inherently messy. When you are hirsute, hair comes off of you and ends up on the floor more often than not. without regular removal, it can make your living space hirsute as well.”

    Does that mean there’s some poor, orphaned dust-bunny of your DNA out there…cold and alone…so near Christmas? Sounds like the makings of a real tearjerker animated special; how bout “Nayland’s Unwanted Christmas Muff.” I’m thinking in the style of that Rudolph claymation. Too bad Burl Ives isn’t around anymore to narrate.

  3. preach it, hairy boy

    Though, it could be worse. If you’re a woman (or live with one) with long hair, I find those tendrils tend to lie in wait to pounce on unsuspecting throats in bed and bathroom especially.

    Where as my little curlies just make endless fluff patterns, and maybe a nice warm rug someday.

  4. Ultra Muff

    Here’s what’s really scary – as of yesterday we weren’t talking some poor dustbunny, it was more like walking ankle deep through drifts of personal detritus. If it let it go for much longer it’ll qualify as a room mate. One of the reasons I’m not bringing anyone home these days. Even if they get past the personal “ick” factor, they’d have to deal with the environmental one. As for Burl and Rudolph, look at my flippant comment over here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/urso/

  5. Re: Six pens none the richer

    I’ve joined pay trust – unfortuantely I’ve kept copies of bills, in some cases unopened un files for more than 12 years!. That’s the next phase of this project – to go through those files and winnow them down to some thing reasonable. I mean do I need my electrical bills from my studio from 1990? As i type that I realize I’ve been acting as if I anticipate being hauled in front of the IRS or something and being forced to give an account of my entire financial life. Thus I’ve been keeping every scrap of evidence.

  6. Ultra Muff

    Here’s what’s really scary – as of yesterday we weren’t talking some poor dustbunny, it was more like walking ankle deep through drifts of personal detritus. If it let it go for much longer it’ll qualify as a room mate. One of the reasons I’m not bringing anyone home these days. Even if they get past the personal “ick” factor, they’d have to deal with the environmental one. As for Burl and Rudolph, look at my flippant comment over here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/urso/

  7. Re: Six pens none the richer

    I’ve joined pay trust – unfortuantely I’ve kept copies of bills, in some cases unopened un files for more than 12 years!. That’s the next phase of this project – to go through those files and winnow them down to some thing reasonable. I mean do I need my electrical bills from my studio from 1990? As i type that I realize I’ve been acting as if I anticipate being hauled in front of the IRS or something and being forced to give an account of my entire financial life. Thus I’ve been keeping every scrap of evidence.

  8. Re: Ultra Muff

    Ankle deep! OK, I’m going to have to ask you to start saving your sweepings from now on. Perhaps I’ll have that chest toupee come new year after all. Think of it as charity.

  9. found poem

    twenty years earlier
    14 years back
    twelve years ago
    ten years is way too short a time
    ten square feet in my apartment
    ten boxes in my living room
    ten pairs of sunglasses
    $10
    six books of “While You Were Out” memos
    six pens in my pocket
    five room apartment in Brooklyn
    three problems that have been dominating my consciousness
    two bookcases I bought last week
    two easily achievable goals
    two hours of work
    two days
    two months
    two years
    two decades
    one of the battery of distractions
    one of those embarrassing moments
    one thing that is strange
    one aspect of my environment
    one thing I forgot to mention

    (all lines taken from your LJ)

  10. This reads so familiar to me. For a while I argued to myself that I was marketing myself as an eccentric. Actually, it was just annoying, and I was incapable of doing these things. The current thinking is that when I take a stimulant, an SSRI, and an SNRI (that’s the new one, the miracle drug) that these everyday activities won’t even be noticed. Instead of leaving the mail in the mailbox for months, I’ve emptied it every day. More than that, I recycled the junk, I opened the business, and I read the personal. I used to get panicked at the thought of my mailbox. Now, I actually get a little excited when I come home to find mail. Drugs can be a wonderful thing.

    Similarly, a couple years ago, I posted this entry: http://www.livejournal.com/users/cthelarger/31745.html

    I have been trying to capture what’s going on in my head by reference to my environment. A few months ago, I documented many of the piles on the upper floor of my house in photos. Some day, I’ll put them together with some writing…

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