A Life in Stuff and Things

“Goddamnit, Sadness, are you dumb? Stop touching everything.” - Me, watching Inside Out

No one I actually know has died this, January, week, but I’m unnaturally sad about David Bowie and Alan Rickman, and sometimes I sit on the train and Spotify plays something either moving or uninspiring, and I don’t know anyone around me and everything feels a watery sort of bland. Like soggy carpet or eating chicken for dinner for eternity. 

Sadness is a curious thing. Hijacks mental capacity as a whole unit, but there’s a bottom. It’s tangible in its dome of beige-ness. If I were to rank emotions, (and I have,) Frustration would be my least favorite. The feeling of frustration I get watching Sadness is usually at least seven times worse than just feeling regular-sad. This might explain all the crying about dumb stuff. 

Or why, on a Thursday afternoon in July, I sat on the roof, sobbing about moving boxes. 

None of us wanted to leave that apartment, but I suppose something had to drag us out and it might as well have been that the landlord’s secretary was embezzling money and stole our rent checks. A logistical scramble, and I had secured a sublet for the awkward amount of time between leases, and rented a PODS unit for all my things. I bought parking permits and flyered the street with signage for the impending 24-hour tow zone. 

Wednesday, 12pm-5pm: PODS to arrive. 

Wednesday, 1pm-ish: Some girl parks in marked spot.

Wednesday, 1:15pm: Call police, ask for tow.

Wednesday, 1:30pm: PODS arrives. 

Wednesday, 1:30pm and 2 seconds: Call PODS. Truck will wait another ten minutes.

Wednesday, 1:35pm: Call police about tow time check. While on hold, watch PODS truck drive away. 

Wednesday, 1:37pm: No way to get another PODS. “Universal moving week” and everything booked. 

Wednesday, 1:38pm-9pm: Call PODS repeatedly, yell at every person who answers. 

I finally talk to someone who assures me I can drive my things out to the PODS facility, load up my pre-paid unit, and all will be fine. Except I don’t own a car and I have no friends. No way to transport three years of a life in objects. How did this happen? How did I not have any stuff and now I have a truck’s worth of things too valuable not to release into the street? 

Thursday 6am: Pick up only Zipcar vehicle available. Thirty minutes to figure out bed must go on the roof. 

Thursday, 8am: Call PODS to reconfirm. 

I have to teach class in one hour, and I have to be fully out of the apartment by 5pm, and PODS now has no recollection of any arrangement, no evidence of my reservation, no clue who I am. 

Thursday, 8:15am: Sit on the roof and sob about the state of my things. 

There’s the soggy carpet you find your feet in, and there’s the dome with no sound that you refuse to call your home. He was an acquaintance and I didn’t feel I could take any ownership, couldn’t invest in being sad. People will judge you less for weeping over celebrities. 

The absence of color is more sinister than beige. Frustration is a never-ending scattershot of helplessness and anger. It eclipses curious Sadness, cloaks it in the darkest of blindfolds.

(July) Wednesday, 10am: Suicide confirmed.