13 July 2008

Just tons of crap

Moving internationally with no plan of returning in at least five years gives you pause to think: What the hell am I going to do with all my shit. Because, whether you like it or not, all your shit — and by shit here I really just mean stuff or junk or the things you have that you never use or think you might use sometime but haven't used in the last two years — has to be sorted into one of four categories: what goes, what gets given away, what gets sold, and what gets thrown away.

There is no other category even though there's nothing more I want than a purgatory category. I want a category where I can put something like my snowboard boots and bindings. Might want them in the future, can't think of when, but it's hard to put them in the give away or sell category. How about that cup. How about the apparatus we hang laundry on to dry.

There is a half category which is stuff I can leave in the apartment for the next teacher, but given that I am skating on thin ice at university already, I don't really want to bring up this category with my supervisor as she might think that I am just looking for another way to screw the school which, of course, I'm not.

My room at home, when I left five years ago, was a museum of sorts, but the worst kind of museum: a museum to my first real failed relationship. I had saved everything: notes, poems written on napkins, brochures of places we had been. I remember how hard it was to throw it all away, how every piece in the collection was a good memory turned bad and how heavy a napkin with the words 'Always ****' felt. It took me a while to go through it.

Now, my room at home is still filled with shit that I should sort. Like my mother called the other day and asked, 'What do you want me to do with your typewriters?' Ah yes, my typewriters. I had bought like six typewriters in college because they were cheap and I liked how they looked. How about my parka from college? How about this? How about that?

Today I pawned a ton of our shit at the local Hard Off including most of the things in my purgatory category. We got about 5800 yen, which isn't bad. It was mostly from Yoko's old CDs. My boots and bindings sold for 300 yen. 300 yen was all they are worth?

Which brings me to an ending. All of our things, at one point or another, fall into two categories — what we need and what we don't. Moving cheaply just accelerates that realizations and makes you wonder, Why did I ever buy this thing in the first place? Now, as we start over again, maybe we can remember all this before we start acquiring things again.