It is pushing 12:30…AM and I am back at the computer again. An empty mug with the remnants of the coffee that I drank earlier stands to my right while a bottle of whiskey guards my left. I took it out with the intention of spiking the coffee but never did get around to it. Headphones cover my ears while I listen to Shlomo Artzi sing Enter My Life and My Longings.
The music reminds me of where I once was and forces me to remember where I am. Later on I’ll listen to Bob Dylan sing Knockin on Heaven’s Door and Lay Lady Lay.
There is a 10.5 year-old boy sleeping in the other room. He is still nervous about this move, uncertain about what it means and suspicious of what I have said. I have spent time trying to comfort and reassure him but he senses that there are things that I don’t say and he is right. There are things happening behind the scenes and he wants to know what is happening. He longs for me to pull back the curtain so that he can see that the wizard is more than a man but doesn’t quite know how to ask so he doesn’t.
But I am his father and I know things so I don’t wait for him to figure it out. I need for him to understand that I have done the best that I can and that he has no reason to fear the future. So I take him aside and ask him to speak with me about the wedding. I remind him that he hated that tie and that he asked me if there was a way to get around wearing it. I told him that there wasn’t but that if he would trust me I could make it more comfortable for him.
One of the joys of moving is the opportunity it presents to rid yourself of things that just aren’t important or necessary. It is the declutterization of life and something that I should do more frequently. We have had two garage sales and made 1,987,874 trips to Goodwill. It feels good to get rid of the extra baggage and I decide that in many ways this is an opportunity to start over. More things are given away, thrown out or sold- I can’t carry them any farther or longer than I have. Sometime soon I will find a way to declutter my mind. It is time to say goodbye to old ghosts and demons.
Walking through the house is like the proverbial trip down memory lane. I keep finding remnants and relics of a past that no longer exists. There are pictures, videos and memories of people who are no longer part of my life. Some of them are gone because they or I chose to go a different direction and some are enjoying the aptly named dirt nap.
Two of my boxes are filled with old clothes that I have chosen not to part with. I haven’t seen most of these things in years. I stare at an old pair of jeans that certainly don’t fit me now and I smile. These pants could tell more than a few stories. I fold them up and put them back in the box- those stories can wait to be told again at a different time. I am a writer and a dreamer. I am sentimental and nostalgic but today I am focused upon the future so there is no time to listen to the particular echoes of these pants.
That bottle of whiskey is staring at me and I find myself tempted to grab it in both hands. There is something inviting about it but what I really want is the Glenmorangie that sits in a cabinet not all that far away from me. There is a piece and a part of me that wants to go get liquored up. There is a place that is hollering for help and alcohol sounds like it might help take the edge off. It is not something that I do with any regularity…booze it up that is. But part of me is playing around with the idea. I have intentionally built time into my schedule so that I can pack. I don’t have to be up at 6 AM which is exactly why I won’t take that drink.
All I Ask of You has just come on iTunes and I find my thoughts heading in a different direction. Someone I know is thinking of Emily Rossum singing and places to build a coventreeeeeeeeee. Not me, I can’t help but think of Mick singing Visions of Paradise. I can’t help but remember and think of….something else. A different time, a different place and a moment that left me transfixed and transformed.
I look up and around the room feeling a bit crazed because I have checked out of this place. It was home but it isn’t any longer. It is just some place that holds my stuff and many good memories but it is a place and that is how I choose to view it. Ok, that is not entirely true because it is more than just a place but it is not mine any longer.
He looks up at me and says, “daddy, I need your help now.” I smile and tell him to trust me. I bend over and unbutton the top button and instruct him not to pull on the tie. He looks at me quizzically and I explain that if he doesn’t pull on it no one will notice that the button has come undone. He smiles and I point to my feet- I have changed from the tux shoes to my own wingtips. “This is where we pretend we are ninjas and make people see what we want them to see.”
Later on when he tells me that he is not sure about moving I ask him to remember the wedding and he says “you were like a genius” and I laugh. “I wasn’t a genius, but I know a trick or two.” He nods his head and I tell him that if it will all work out just fine. He looks up at me and says, “are you sure?” I nod my head again, “trust me.”