Sunday, February 28, 2016

Packing

You don't think about the end when you're at the beginning.  I remember when I moved in- it was a sunny day and I felt so light I thought I might fly over.  I'd been sleeping there for weeks already, slowly emptying out the apartment of belongings and clothes.  The last day, loading the truck and handing in the keys I kept thinking "this is how it's supposed to be."

It was just the two of us- no help was needed.  But I was strong and independent and I carried as much as I could myself.  Getting the dresser in required some tetris skills and I climbed over the bookcase to pull it into place, effectively trapping myself in the truck behind high- stacked wooden furniture.  I couldn't figure out my footing trying to climb out so he reached his hand for me.  Before I knew it he'd pulled me out and thrown me over his shoulder as if I weighed nothing, as if I was just as light as I felt.  I laughed and screamed and the thought repeated: "this is how it's supposed to be."

Now, looking out at half packed boxes and bubble wrap the house looks alien, haunted.  Almost like a crime scene- something happened here that shouldn't have happened.  My room which was for years my space to keep all my nick-nacks and crafts, all my stuffed animals and books, all my things that I collected had become a liability- too much work to be done in the time agreed before I had to get out.  These things which I'd spent years amassing as proof of my happy life... pictures and programs from plays and concerts.  Boxes of Christmas, birthday and anniversary cards collected for happy reminiscence- now too painful to look at.  But I can't bring myself to throw them away.  So they get packed along with all the rest- more ghosts to haunt me later.

There are gifts everywhere- the little kitten stuffed animal he'd hidden tickets to a concert in, a little ape with devil horns and a heart he'd given me for Valentines, plaques and personalized frames he'd used to commemorate my achievements.  The things we keep to remind us that we are loved.  Now bubble wrapped and packed for a later time when I am strong enough to face it, for a time when just breathing doesn't take as much effort.  Something happened here that shouldn't have happened.

The threat of crying lingers so close to the surface I could trip over it, but I desperately cling to the details- what will fit where, what to label the box, how to protect the precious contents.  It's mechanical, concrete, blessedly logical and my brain can comprehend it- unlike those tears.  Unlike the question of how this happened.  It shouldn't have happened.

But it did.  Like it does for so many, like so many others running around with their own ghosts.  I am one of the haunted now.  And I bring my ghosts with me.


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