It's strange to step back into the world of my stuff, that someone else has been living in for the last 10 weeks. It's equally strange to finally wipe the gin stains off the floor, and clean the corners of a world that I had wanted to preserve when I left three months ago. Now that I can more easily accept his absence from the world, I'm left in this house without a home. Here I stand in a structure that has sheltered many different loves, lots of different laughter, and supported me through the rise and falls of my last relationships...and yet here, the most homely place I've had for the last 10 years, is feeling unfamiliar, and inadequate to the sweet simplicity of my tent filled with a book, Sid's pillow and my sleeping bag.
This song has been playing incessintly in my head for the last 4 months:
I've only lived here two and a half years, and there are echoes of previous partners, fiances, lovers, best friends, new acquaintances... Shelves are full of someone else's books, closets with stacks of Sid's clothes and computers, waiting for a quiet cold day... a crooked poster from last summer's subletter that has mocked me for months, and yet all of these things are shadows of the life and love that have been breathed into this small space.
So I'm settling back in, but with a strange unfamiliarity that I've never felt in this space. When I moved in, I made it my happy home. I've shared it and cleaned more than my share of it. Most of my stuff is where I left it, including labels to ensure that even visitors adhere to my organization needs. I spent much of the summer in a little cabin, moving in and out of my backpack depending on the day's adventure, and I was sort of inspired by it. I carried my day-pack with me everywhere, and it always had my basic essentials- 7 journals, colored pens, food, water, sunscreen, camera, chapstick, freeze-dried strawberries in a glass jar, first aid, a jump drive, a compass, my wallet, a letter so belated my last words are irrelevant, and a rain coat (that's a lie, I never carry one, but we always make the kids, so I pretend it's in there...This is why I live in NM).
It's been strange settling into this world of stuff, so much bigger than my backpack, but a little too big for one person. The environmentalist in me aches to ease my impact by sharing the space... but now that my new roommate (and her partner and dog) has moved in, I'm seeking the solitude of my own space, albeit filled with the material memories of the others.