I’ve rearranged my work schedule so now it’s three days on, four days off. I spent this last newly minted holiday weekend much like I spent the previous one: cleaning, decluttering, making over the home. Focus this weekend was the kitchen: I hung shelves, got rid of stuff, opened those floor level cabinets and reshuffled their contents. Food that I had sitting around that wasn’t part of the new regime got chucked, nick-nacks got re-evaluated and pared back. The problem with all this is that I tend to work elliptically, doing something for a while and then wandering onto something else

I’ve come to see all horizontal surfaces as my enemy: as soon as I clear one off I start dropping stuff back onto it. So the rhythm is a kind of endless trot – find stuff, find a general home for it, move it to that home, carry something else back again, over and over. To drive this I find that I have to play certain pop albums over and over: this weekend’s was Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest hits.

On thing that I’m proud of is that I’ve actually made use of many of the things I bought on whims at Ikea: wall brackets, plastic bins and so forth. This stuff has been sitting around making me feel like an idiot and a spendthrift, so when some of it gets used I’m in heaven.

Last week I had dinner with my friend Lynne, and in filling her in on what’s been going on with me I talked about the way that I think about most of the clutter as “unfinished buisiness”. I then told her about my plan to have a kind of book givaway party, where I invited folks over and let them take anybooks they wanted out of the batch that was going to The housing works bookstore. She wisely, nixed the idea, pointing out that it was one more example of not finishing buisness. I was using an altruistic motive as a way to dawdle on the threshold of parting with things. That’s the kind of behavior that I think I have to stop.

The truth is I’ve gone two and a half years without really un-packing. And when we talk about certain items, they havent been unpacked in decades. My hope is that in all of this I’m developing a more discerning eye towards what is genuinely useful to me and what isn’t. I capped the weekend’s efforts by moving a bookcase out to the street last night. While this might seem insane given how many books I have sitting on the floor of my living room, this particular case was irking me where it was placed and how it was colored. In fact I had found it on the street, not long after I had moved to Brooklyn, and it had served me faithfully for six years or so. But somehow it seemed to be holding me back. So out to the street. It went out at around 10:30 pm. By 1:00, someone had taken it home.

But all of this leaves me with another problem: I have nothing else to talk about. Certainly this journal seems to have degenerated into a babble of minutia (see above) and if possible, I’m even more useless on the phone I didn’t see anyone all weekend, except for my shrink, and my trainer. I spoke to two people on the phone, and one online.

I can only hope that all this is laying the groundwork for a spce and a life where it will be easier, less arduous for me to be around myself and other people.

I don’t feel anguished in anyway, in fact at times I feel elated, as the various aspects of the house click into focus. But I also feel muffled, peering through a thick wrapper at the rest of the world.

0 Comments +

  1. After you get the place sufficiently cleaned, have a small dinner party: Maybe three relaxed, interesting folks you’d like to sit down and gab with one evening.

    Is that horrifying? Or boring? Or old hat?

    (I know I could hardly do it … :))

  2. First of all – I have literally more than I know what to do with. My goal is to have as much as I know what to do with. Secondly, I’m not quite giving away – but rather donating to a thrift store that benefits AIDS housing – so they get to go on and have another life. I bought many of them used anyway.

  3. Re: If I understand the situation correctly…

    Are you serious? You’re completely welcome to, with this proviso: the boxes they’re packed in have to be repacked (bad_faggot has done a stellar job on them).

    You of all people should probably be barred from looking through them! I should also make you promise that for each one you take you have to divest yourself of one from your apartment.

  4. I’ve always found a 3-13 schedule to be an interesting scenario, but also a double-edged sword. I’ve never done it, but the thought of four days off a week does appeal to the lazy ass in me. On the other hand, thirteen hours at a go seems awfully arduous to me.

    I’ve come to see all horizontal surfaces as my enemy: as soon as I clear one off I start dropping stuff back onto it.

    I hear that. It goes for floors, too. Fortunately, the floor in my bedroom (which still isn’t quite finished, mind you) has managed to avoid the accumulation of clutter which made it such a sloppy minefield only weeks ago, but I know how easily that can happen.

  5. First of all – I have literally more than I know what to do with. My goal is to have as much as I know what to do with. Secondly, I’m not quite giving away – but rather donating to a thrift store that benefits AIDS housing – so they get to go on and have another life. I bought many of them used anyway.

  6. Re: If I understand the situation correctly…

    Are you serious? You’re completely welcome to, with this proviso: the boxes they’re packed in have to be repacked (bad_faggot has done a stellar job on them).

    You of all people should probably be barred from looking through them! I should also make you promise that for each one you take you have to divest yourself of one from your apartment.

  7. As I prepare to rid myself of the studio space downtown, I’m faced with a mound, nay, a BIG roomful of stuff that I simply don’t really need/want.

    So I was gonna break down and do the party thing, and have folks come over and take 3-x# books a piece, put pricetags on other items and then ebay the rest.

    I’m not sure my follow-up skills are ready for visiting the post office THAT much if it comes down to ebay.

    But I am pretty sure, a lighter load will clear my head. The move from house to apt has made me remember that feeling.

    And my memory is so bad, I don’t even miss what I gave up.

  8. Floors are the worst – I come to accept that I have a tendency to dump things on the floor around my bed, and now I’m trying to devise ways to not have this result in a slag heap of debris. I’ll let you know how I do.

  9. I’ve done that and these dyas I advocate the clean break – invite your frineds over after the space is clear and you feel refreshed.

    I know that ebay selling means too many trips to the post office, and that I’ll never do it. I’ve offered the person helping me a commission if they take on the ebay project, just to get it out of my way.

  10. Yeah, the floor around my bed is the worst. It’s OK now, but I’ve seen it rapdly turn into a dust-magnetizing trash heap. I’m trying to avoid that happening again, but keep in mind, I’ve said that many, many times before.

    Second worst is my computer desk and the surrounding floor. I need to complete my bedroom before I can move on to the computer room, though.

  11. Floors are the worst – I come to accept that I have a tendency to dump things on the floor around my bed, and now I’m trying to devise ways to not have this result in a slag heap of debris. I’ll let you know how I do.

  12. I’ve done that and these dyas I advocate the clean break – invite your frineds over after the space is clear and you feel refreshed.

    I know that ebay selling means too many trips to the post office, and that I’ll never do it. I’ve offered the person helping me a commission if they take on the ebay project, just to get it out of my way.

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