They could not grasp the enormity of the task. Perhaps all they imagined was some scrubbing here, some dusting there but most of it, in fact, involved tchotchkes and thingamajigs that have accumulated through time. Each piece of junk had a story to tell, some of those stories weren’t even mine, but whatever story they told, I had to let them go.
China and cutlery: they had to go.
Oven toasters in disrepair: they had to go.
Fragments of chores in suspended progress: they had to go.
Receipts, scraps of paper and their secrets: they had to go.
There is something cathartic about housecleaning. I am not talking about the daily effort of keeping things tidy but the kind that happens once in a few months, or years, when you resolve to get your hands dirty by sorting through stuff and scouring every nook, every cranny of the house. I feel as if something in me has been purged in the process, some excess passion or some emotional tension. I feel as if I have moved on, but from disorder to order aside, from what? And to where?
I gathered the trash in bags and a truck transported them to some landfill where some will be salvaged and given new life to tell a new story but probably in a different form: the fork becomes a can opener; the oven toaster, a paperweight; the receipt, the mechanism inside an iPhone. Some will ascend into a state of non-form and then into non-existence. While the others will persist through centuries, and their stories become anonynomous memories of a faraway past.