Saturday, May 3, 2008

AV: Washing the Body

Don't be alarmed. No one has died. Not corporeally, at least.

The title of today's entry is for my apartment/duplex. I am moving officially this weekend in with Aida and the family. Yes, I've been living there for months, but I have kept my own place throughout. It's where my cat, Molly, lives.

This place also houses my furniture, tv, kitchen things, artwork, books, cds, curtains, bed and linens ... all the things that I both dragged with me through my breakup with my former partner of 13 years and chose for myself when I finally moved into my own space. When I finally chose to live with myself.

All the little things. The kitchen trashcan, the bathroom cabinet and shower curtain rings selected to work together. The fireplace set. The baskets and vases. The dishes and the kitchen towels. The placemats and napkin rings. The clock radio. The lamps. The toilet brush.

Everything. Chosen. By me.

The irony is that this ended before it began because of something that I did not specifically choose.

In February of 2006 I began the delightful dance of intimacy with a woman who still awes me with who she is. In June of that same year our lives changed irrevocably; she was diagnosed with cancer. And the idea of what my life was going to be shifted.

We did not have the luxury of discovery and the delights of exploration that we wanted to have. Each day since that terrifying day she was admitted to the hospital almost two years ago has been one of uncertainty and adaptation. We only know that we have this day ... and even that can change. And neither of us chose that.

What we did choose was each other and to see where the dimly lit road might lead us -- together.

And so the time has come for me to release whatever grasp I had on the idea of who I might have become, the idea of myself in late 2005 who, in reality, no longer exists. I am a new and different person, with a different understanding of what life is. I cannot retrace my steps. The path is obscured and ahead of me is an idea of a different woman. No better and no worse, but different.

And this house contains not only furniture and things, old spices and foodstuffs never used and bed linens still in their wrapper. It contains the ghost of someone who never was. And the time has come for me to open my hand and let that go.

I am sitting here in my favorite chair with boxes and the things that will go into them all strewn about. I am looking at each thing, each vase, each basket, each plate and cup, each pillow and candle. I am leaving some at the curb for the local thrift resale venture to collect in two days time. And some I am lovingly swaddling in newspaper with today's date. Friends have offered to help me to pack, but I didn't want that. I needed to be alone with it all ... to honor this passing.

And so I am wrapping and storing and loving each piece, no matter how small, as if it were a limb of that lost self. I am wrapping each like a mummy waiting for the hand of Osiris ... waiting for the touch of the afterlife so that it can someday live again.

The movers arrive on Monday to carry it all across the river to where it will wait for us to claim it.

1 comment:

The Write Bunch said...

AV, I hope your move goes smoothly, and that you can be yourself and what you hope to become, in your new surroundings. HC