my friend chloe is making me some 30mm plugs so i can finally give andy his earrings back. which also means i can swing by our old house and pick up the last of what i left there by accident. which means one less things to worry about!
i’ve started picking up a few house things – a dish rack, soaps, shampoo & conditionner, a bathmat, a shower liner, toilet paper, tin foil, etc… i’m feeling more and more anxious to get into my apartment. i moved out of andy and i’s house four months ago. it may not seem like much, but it’s a long time to sleep in my parents’ office (or friends’ couches, or B’s crappy fouton “bed”) with every thing i own packed up in a 5 x 10 storage locker halfway across the city. i was going through some saved pictures i have here at work, and found a picture of the vintage steamer trunk i picked up from an old couple on craigslist. it seems so silly, but i cried. i hate not having MY things in MY house. and having them all packed up for so long… i’ve forgotten most of what i have.
i moved out of my parents’ house when i was seventeen years old- and believe me, of all the really shitty decisions i’ve made in my life, that was by far one of the shittiest. i’ve been collecting stuff since then… passing it on from apartment to apartment (i’ve had six apartments since i’ve moved out, if you’re not keeping count). i’ve gotten rid of almost every single thing i’ve owned since living with M in my very first apartment. it took me a year to throw out a tank top- the one he ripped at the collar the night he he’d lifted me off the floor and shook me like a rag doll. i still have the laundry hamper he bought us- the one he put together, sitting on our bedroom floor, the one our dirty clothes sat in together. i still have the $50 black leather couch that sat in J and i’s appartment- the one my bare back smacked against, over and over as M hurled me onto it, shoving me, calling me names.
i hear friends talking about travelling, or moving to a different city. “i’ll just sell everything i own”, they say, and i can’t wrap my mind around that. maybe i have sentimental attachments to my belongings, because i’ve had to throw out and give away anything that i’ve shared with M. my friend asked me why i was buying all these things again… “you’ve had six apartments before this one… don’t you have these things already?”. the answer is yes, i did.
i had a record player- the one we used to spin “classic love songs” on, the record he grabbed from value village for me. i had a lazy boy- the one that sat in his mother’s basement before being the first piece of living room furniture we owned, the one we sat on together, covered in my baby blanket, watching movies on a 13 inch TV. i had a bed- the one we slept in together for almost 3 years before i had to learn to sleep in it alone when he decided to go backpacking for a few months to “figure himself out”. i had a computer- the one with every single picture we’d taken together since i was sixteen years old, the one he used to check messages i wasn’t allowed to see.
i had a lot of things, you see. but i stopped listening to records when he left, and the record player was somehow broken when i tried to use it again in my fourth apartment. i left the lazy boy in the second apartment i’d lived in. i left the bedframe in that same apartment and threw out the mattress after my fourth and bought myself a new mattress in my fifth apartment. the old computer with our memories eventually broke and i left it on the side of a busy street when i was in my third apartment.
our mismatched dishes were trashed, i’m sure. i threw out the barrell we used as a side table and i packed up all his clothes to bring to his mother’s basement after he’d left. i kept one of his skateboards- i painted it and loaded it with pictures of my dad and i- it hangs in his office.
i’ve tried desperately to erase M from every apartment i’ve (we’ve) lived in. every time i’ve ran, he’s found me. he’s left pieces of himself in every home i’ve been in. but not this time- i’m so close. i have money accumulating in the bank to replace that leather couch- the one he both loved (and broke) me on.
all that’s left is the M box.
it sat in andy and i’s basement. i don’t even think he knew it was there. it’s the box M’s red doc martens came in. it sat in our basement, wrapped shut with heavy duty tape, inside a box inside of another box. it seems so juvenile but it’s the only part of M i can’t imagine disposing of. a box of love letters and sticky notes he’d leave by the bed while i was asleep. his gym pass, his necklace, our scrapbook. pictures of us and drawings he’d make me at work. i’m not even sure what else is in there- i haven’t opened the box in over a year.
maybe when i have a new couch i can actually sit on without cringing, and a laundry hamper that doesn’t remind me of sorting M and i’s laundry in his mother’s basement… maybe then i’ll consider getting rid of the box- the only tangible thing to prove M once loved me- the only tangible thing to prove i once cared about anything.
the only tangible proof that i’m capable of love.