Try to Purge

images3.jpg I am trying to slim down my belongings, so our studio apartment feels less choked with piles of clothes, tchotchkes, dust-gathering jigsaw puzzles, etc., but I’ve discovered that I’m a hoarder.

Of the items in my apartment I have not touched in ten years or more — about two feet of sheet music and books for advanced flute and piano, several boxes of oil paint and linseed oil, and a small pile of records, which include:

* Scoundrel Days by a-Ha
* Boy and War by U2
* Let’s Dance by David Bowie
* Wheel’s on Fire by Siouxie and the Banshees
* Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode
* Christmas Carols from around the World
* Walt Disney’s Cinderella
* Mickey Mouse Disco

I should just set fire to all of them, donate them, give them away, and I will–but I haven’t so far. I played the piano and flute from little kid age to 21, and I loved them both, but music is not a casual hobby and I don’t have the time or strong interest. The paints — when I obsessed from junior year in COLLEGE. Oy, have to let that go, and the records? Please, I don’t have a record player and will never get one. If any of these appeal to you, let me know. They’re all terrific records, and maybe I can get you to record a CD for me from them.

I still remember the Mickey Mouse Disco album (I think there’s a track called Macho Macho Duck to the melody of Macho Macho Man — you get the picture). In third grade, I looked forward to listening to it all day and waiting for school to end, and then I found my mom had let my cousin Aimee, too young to go to school yet, listen to it b/c the poor thing was bored all day, but MAN, was I mad when I found out! For some reason, it was vitally important I be the first one to listen, since it was MINE. ROAR!

I wish I could say I’ve outgrown such peculiar flashes of territoriality, but…I can still get mental about the same things. My husband knows.

So the truth about the clutter — I experience physical pain when I even think of parting with certain items, despite the fact I never look/touch/use them. If I can succeed at the Purge, it will result in a more spacious home, but also more room in my head too. I can’t hold on to ALL OF MY DUMB MEMORIES. My friend told me about some dude on PBS got rid of literally all his things — all of his clothes, books, and toys, and it changed him profoundly. How did he change? No idea. But he changed. My memory is so bad, once these things leave the house I won’t remember that I ever had them, but I’m still not going to go that dire…tiny steps.

5 Replies to “Try to Purge”

  1. You and M.C.Abe should chat about this topic. Maybe it’s the Cancer in the both of you–crabs like to put things in their shells and then walk all heavy and stilted.

  2. Oy, we’ll talk about it the next time HKK meets. I thought of you with the Scoundrel Days record. I’ll feel better if my stuff goes to my friends, if you’re at all interested.

  3. cool. do you have any of their stuff on record? do you guys have a record player? maybe i can come visit it and listen to it over tequila

  4. I don’t have anything on LP. Cause I’m LAME! I just threw out all my CDs. No! Don’t scream in horror: they were all scratched and very girly-90s-gothic kind of stuff that I don’t listen to anymore. They were just taking up space. And it was giving M.C.Abe ammunition to make mock my music tastes.

    We do have a record player but it’s not hooked up yet.

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