morning afternoon, I lay in bed not wanting to get up, but getting up and unfucking was on the menu, and so I began by noticing how very fucked the bottom two shelves of my bedside table really are. I meant to do a far more thorough job than moving one book to the “away with you” pile. The thing is that the book is a giant symbol of what I used to be and no longer am.
So I’m culling The Best Little Girl In The World by Steven Levenkron. I don’t need to relive anorexia anymore. I am no longer anything like Kessa, if ever I was. Now I know, for example, that in order to use my body for things like dancing and archery, it needs strength. Muscle. Which comes from food and exercise, not starvation and pouting. I don’t want to diet myself to death. I don’t even want to know what it’s like to be down that far. I want to fit in clothes again. I don’t care if my breasts grow or not, now that I have good bras. I want adult clothes in adult sizes. I want a number that isn’t zero. I want more than a few months free of chronic malnutrition. I have wanted all of this for quite some time.
There are better books for my shelves. There are happier notions — or more interesting sad ones that have nothing to do with old pathology.
Objects have more meaning for some of us than others. I know I have hoarding tendencies. I turn my diaries into scrapbooks because I want to keep the pretty in some way more manageable than stacks of paper. I have notebooks of early but crappy creative work that, realistically, will never make it into some museum’s collection of ephemera or juvenilia. Save the data — destroy the clutter. Use the ideas — discard the paper.
It’s easy for me to pawn things off on my parents because those things never leave the house, and I end up reclaiming them. Or I’ll claim things my parents don’t want, like skirts my mother wore forty years ago that I find fabulous. I am restricting myself to the two pleated ones that fit me best. I may sell the beige one on consignment because it’s vintage but too damn pretty to languish in a thrift shop and doesn’t go with the rest of my closet. If I can’t wear it, it has to go.
I am kind to myself about some articles of clothing, which are well-loved and fabulous but too damn big right now. I have to have some just-in-case go-to treasures, because my weight is a giant question mark. Back when I was up around 105, I had old beloved things set aside, just in case. I’m lucky I did that, because when I went off Remeron, the weight melted away. My appetite died. So no, the cute shirtdress will never leave. Neither will these grey jeans or my fitted black pencil skirt. Those are good pieces. As I gain, though, as I find pieces I didn’t like before — oh, God, I’m assuming the doctor has workable weight gain approaches — I have to decide whether they matter enough to preserve just in case. I hope I’ll be strong enough to chuck a bunch of them.
The way I gain weight, I change bottom sizing faster than top. There will be dresses, sweaters, and tunics that only look better by the pound. I’m not going to outgrow my Coobie anytime soon. I might need one or two new bras, is all, and the old expensive ones (both of them) will be set aside — again, just in case, because I’d be an idiot to throw away hundreds of dollars’ worth of lingerie when one good illness might change my band size again.
Oh, but I am feeling stubborn about the furniture. It’s ugly, but I have this white desk I’ve owned since I was five and I’m not inclined to chuck it now I’ve made it useful. Currently my TV sits on it, and this one plastic hutch fits perfectly into what’s meant to be the chair space. I’ve even stowed luggage up against it and underneath. I know the drawer needs clearing — there is old tech in it that I keep, again, for sentimental reasons. Am I okay to let go of my first cell phone? I think I might have texts on there from when I was seventeen and deliriously in love with a fellow fangirl I’d never met. What about the one that looks really cool? But I’ll never be able to activate it again, nor will Verizon let me pass it off to my mother as an improvement on her current flip phone. I want someone to love it. Realistically, nobody will.
There’s the matching former dresser-cupboard up against one wall. Pros: it holds books! It’s a neat storage solution for my music and my boots. Cons: I could store those books elsewhere (like on the bookshelf behind me, once I’ve decluttered THAT) and the thing is broken the fuck down. I can find other places for the curios I keep on top of it.
Like the room next door.
We have a hoarded-out room which keeps getting refilled and I want to make it usable again. That is the room for curios and books, except my very favorites which I want to hand. I could even move my desk setup in there, if we figure out why it’s the coldest room in winter and the warmest in summer. The family could have a proper study-slash-library.
Time is running out on us, because we need it as a guest room by next July. My aunt is really coming to visit next year. This will be the first time in thirteen years she has hugged me. Cue wave of longing. Oh, shit, those are tears. I was disappointed she couldn’t make it this year — next year for sure, and we’ll go to Pax together and camp, since I have a tent.
So I could put a futon in there, and for sure repaint it since it hasn’t been painted since before Claudius quit smoking. We could have even more bookshelves. I’d put my desk up against the wall, maybe crash on the futon if I got too lazy to drag my ass to bed. Or I could move in there and this room would be the guest room. It’s bigger and prettier.
And we must clean out the garage completely, as in “everything out, no exceptions, put back only what we know we’ll use”. I should not be afraid of parts of the garage. What the hell? But the year is running down on us. Before I know it, my parents will claim it’s too cold to clean, so let’s put it off until spring. Why? Why waste this time here?
There’s waste at the heart of the matter, time and material alike. We lived above our means for years. We accumulated stuff. We made stuff our small god. We lived (we live?) for the jobs that let us buy more stuff, because stuff makes us happy.
I should be the happiest woman in the world. I have stuff. But it’s not the right stuff.
Well, it’s stuff.
I would trade that whole room, whatever is in it, to return to full health. To return my family to a safe, good place. I venture in there so rarel–
–did I just delete my own words saying I don’t need what’s in there? Seriously, I want the commode and the tents more than I want my family to be well and whole? What? But that’s stuff, and I have the funds to replace what I lose in that particular Stuffening.
Waste is an attitude. Waste is a mindset and a personality. Waste is an addiction. Waste is so much a part of me that I have to consciously not waste: time, things, money. I have to catch myself when I’m sinking into my comfort zone. No. Waste is waste. Clutter is clutter. Useless is useless and so much is useless right now to help me with the things I need, or even the things I want. Thus I am enslaved to little more than desires.
Is this what Buddha had to process under his tree?
What I will not waste is any more daylight. I should go practice in the yard while I have the weather on my side. I want to see whether my aim’s any better from 20 yards this Sunday, given my work at 7. Plus, hey, fitness. Rah.
Time to get some fresh air and build my biceps. It’s healthier stuff, this air and these muscles, than what’s drowning me right now.