Sunday, August 10, 2008


Long time no post. So much has happened since Bozo died it is hard to know where to begin. Every day something happens that I view through my own lens, and think, hey, what a great post this will make when I get home to my computer. But my mind leaks. Memory fails when the dishes and the job and the dog and watering the yard get in front of everything.

Nicole moved away, which left a pretty big space in the house, and made her father sad. But it is a normal sadness, the empty nest. I've been in my own empty nest, sitting alone at night with the loud and insistent unemployment of childlessness, wondering how they can possibly get along without you, but they do. Because Nicole doesn't speak to us, or at least to me, it is hard to know her reasons and motivations, but she wasn't happy here -- that much was clear. I think most kids want to leave. I know I did. Having lived with her for nearly five years, and loving her in that uncomfortable, incomplete, never quite enough but always too much, step-mother way, I still hope for her eventual happiness and comfort in her own life, as it unfolds under her feet one step at a time. It is hard to be young, and easier by far than being old, but still just the same, I am happy to have been on the periphery of her small life for awhile.

So, with Nicole gone, I have created a walk-in closet for my clothing. We live in a small Victorian with tiny rooms and now I have some hope of organization. I have been living on three floors for four years, and it has been challenging. Now, for those of you have have been following the bouncing ball, you will understand that this organization myth is merely a hope, and has as little chance of materializing as, say, the Easter Bunny. I have, however, moved beyond plastic. I am now intstalling things that require drywall and spackle. I am renovating. Oh, did I say I am renovating as though it involved effort on my part? That was a lie. My husband is renovating. He is renovative. So, I have a closet where there was a wall, and shelves and other furniture that will house, but not hide, my many many articles of clothing and accessories and getting-ready supplies, which is another industry and another story.

I mention 'not hiding' because I have learned that putting clothes in opaque drawers and boxes is like sending them to storage. Only the storage is in Europe. I never see them again. And because they are not visible, I forget which item (say, summer capri-length pants) is in which large plastic storage container, and there they sit, years on end. The upside of opaque boxes and drawers is that it is like Christmas when I open them, and for awhile I am releived of the oppressive need to shop because I am wearing all my old clothes that I had cleverly hidden from myself. I blame my job, because I have to look competent every day, and I interpret this to mean I can't wear the same thing twice. How this relates to competence I can't explain. Don't make me try.

I had a dream last night that I had, in my organizational efforts, discovered a whole 'nother room of clothing and had decided to have a yard sale. I had advertised it on craigslist and said something like, "I'm selling some really nice stuff so don't expect to pay a quarter for something that cost me 89 bucks," because as you may know, I think everything at a yard sale should cost a quarter. So, the morning of the yard sale came and I was having it inside my house (which makes it technically not a yard sale). I had this plan to only let three people in at a time to minimize theft -- first come first served and all which is the craigslist m.o. -- but as the doorbell rang, I realized I hadn't even sorted through the clothes yet, or priced anything, and this guy who was first in line (for MY clothes, what's that about???) said there were 147 cars lined up around the block and that I'd better get organized.

Fuck. I have too much shit.

And my husband got a HUGE new motorcycle.

We all handle empty nests in our own ways.

I decorate.


asia said...

wow, good to have you back again. i miss your writing.

someday i will get organized too. for now, if i could just stem the tide of things coming into the house, that would be enough. piles of magazines and receipts and bills and books and newspapers that i can not get rid of fast enough. and i am only talking about the paper stuff that turns to clutter. recycling is my full time job in this house.

although the other day i found my favorite pair of jeans in a bag of things i stuffed into a box a year ago in a desperate bid to get moved out of the old house. i thought they had been stolen from our hotel room on our honeymoon. yay!

someone said...

See? Christmas! I am vindicated.

asha said...

Whew. "Bozo the Clown is Dead" dropped off the top. Over the last days and weeks, those words came to mark an imponderable crossroads which became increasingly forlorn and ominous. Finally, they mutated into an abandoned, roadside freak show I was both loath and morbidly curious to visit. So, thanks for the nice new long post about life on Clinton Street. Probably good to be moving on.

As for kids, my weren't gone long before the nest filled up again, this time with pigeons. What's a mother to do? I must fuss.

Good luck with the RE-organization. If you figure out how to get it all to stay in place, accessible but out of the way, lemme know. My office is a crap magnet. Oh, all good crap of course. In fact, special, highly personal, one of a kind, irreplaceable crap I don't want to contemplate facing life without but there's hardly room for me in here anymore.

Anonymous said...

I do remain amazed that the purging of the stuff is often more of a rush than the accumulation. good job filling the nest.