Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Of beginnings and endings

Note to self: When you wake up at 2 a.m., do not get out of bed to brush your teeth, even if it feels like Hannibal's army and all its elephants marched through your mouth while you were sleeping. Unless, of course, you want to be awake until dawn, in which case go right ahead.

With two days to go until we start moving, I've reached the point at which I'm so overwhelmed that inertia takes over and I stop doing anything. I still need to finish cleaning under my bed, pack the contents of a few drawers and cupboards, and decide whether I'm going to have cable Internet or DSL at the new place. I can see the detritus of daily living piling up around the boxes, and I know I ought to collect those odds and ends before they reach critical mass. But it all seems like too much effort, so I don't. Even sitting on the couch seems like too much effort. I don't know whether I need a day off or a kick in the pants.

One really good thing about leaving this place: its problems will soon be my problems no more. Termites boring their way out of the ceiling again? Not my problem. Treacherous rip where the hall carpet's wearing out? Not my problem. Blasted heath backyard where nothing grows? So not my problem. Even regular chores like vacuuming are no concern of mine, at least temporarily.

Of course, you have to understand that I'm focusing on the benefits of leaving so I won't have to focus on the leaving itself. At the end of this weekend, I'll hand over the keys to this, the last home I lived in with P, and that will be it. I'll live a place he'll never see, with floors he never walked on, with a door he never entered, and in a way, that will be like losing a tiny part of him. And yet at the same time, I won't look at the floor and think, There's the place the paramedics put him down, and I won't look at the door and think that when he walked through it for the first time, we didn't know he'd be carried out through it one day, sightless and unaware, under a bright summer sky.


Well-heeled mom said...

Good luck with your new place. It's still weird to go to my mom's house, where my dad died and where my brother and I grew up - just so many memories, and now that's all I have. I don't think I could stand to live there anymore. She says it's comforting.

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