The official reason is simple: I plan to turn the second bedroom into a kind of entertainment center. With my recently-acquired plasma TV, blu-ray player (wi-fi compatible) and surround sound system, it will be a place to retire from the world, to immerse myself in whatever sounds or images I crave at the moment.
To make room for all this, the bedroom had to be cleared of all the accumulated stuff that had piled up over the years. Most of it had been ported over from the apartment, where it was all dropped in boxes and moved to the house in order to save myself the time and trouble of actually sorting it. But this time, for whatever reason, I felt the need to decide what would be tossed and what would go down to the basement.
Some of this was easy. Did I really need to keep the program for Reefer Madness: The Musical? Nah--throw it away. And some of the work Psychokitty Delmar had done for me--he'd slept in some of the boxes and ripped up, for instance, the 1941 Des Moines Register with a beautiful Ding Darling illustration commemorating the attack on Pearl Harbor. I'd meant to have it framed or something, but now it was an easy toss.
Then there was...everything else. Family photos, drawings made by my ex-wife's niece, home-dubbed VHS tapes, calenders with important dates from my past marked on them, goofy cartoons drawn by my mom. These are things I dare not throw away, the only links I have to a life I once led. But what are they now?
They are of no real significance except that which I give them. Even examining them now, they draw me back, but there is something ultimately destructive about their siren song. There is no returning to the time from which they sprang, and no point in longing for it. My life now doesn't depend on any of this.
Or so I tell myself as I tape the boxes shut and lug them down to the basement, where they sit on shelves or piled on pallets on the floor to keep them dry. They still exist down there, but soon they'll just be more stuff that exists in the background, like the empty boxes of laundry soap I keep forgetting to put in the garbage, as forgotten as the memories they represent.