Saturday, May 26, 2007

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

I'm having another cleaning day -- at home this time, readying my apartment for summer. I changed the sheets; stuffed my comforter into a garbage bag to go to the cleaners; excavated the couch from the week's detritus of clothes and papers; put away all my winter clothes and transferred the summer tank tops and skirts into the closet; set a pitcher of tea in the window to brew. It's hot in here, our first really humid day of the year, so the box fan is whirring under the open windows, and I'm looking forward to that tea as soon as it cools.

I'm also cleaning out my bookshelves and CDs in search of donations for the church book sale next week. Oddly I find it much harder to get rid of CDs than I do books, even with the fact that I store half my albums on iTunes. . . . I guess it takes just a brief taste of a book for me to know whether it's worth keeping around, while with a CD I feel as if I have to listen to the entire thing to know whether it contains any nuggets of gold, and so I get vaguely anxious if I toss one out without listening to it -- who knows what life-changing song might be hiding there? Some CDs I associate so strongly with a particular time in my life (Sarah MacLachlan's Surfacing, spring 2001; the Dixie Chicks' Home, fall 2003; Patty Griffin's Flaming Red, fall 2004-spring 2005) that I want to keep them solely as mementos (and the music is pretty good too, of course). And books I buy for myself and live by myself, while friends, family, and exes have given me much of my music collection, so there are emotional associations with not just the songs but the physical CDs. . . . I'm letting go of part of my past -- a little part of me -- with each of these CDs, even if that past is dead and gone and moved on from to happiness; even if I never listened to the CD! Stories, stories, in every little jewel case.

Some days, I feel like my entire life is a YA novel, and I will never ever be grown up.

Still, I have a sizeable stack of CDs and two bags full of books to go to the sale, for which we'll be accepting donations at the church all day Monday and then Thursday and Friday nights. The sale itself is next Saturday from 9 to 4, and everyone in Brooklyn should check it out. As an FYI, I'll be gone on vacation from Monday to Wednesday, so please don't expect a reply to any e-mail until Thursday. And have a great Memorial Day weekend!


  1. AT 54, some days I PRAY my life is a YA novel, and I'll never grow up!

  2. I think a lot of us who are grown ups don't feel like grown ups. I doubt I ever completely will.

  3. I will assume you meant by "changed the sheets" not that this is the first time you have washed them since LAST summer, but that you have changed the pattern to something more summery???


    --Anon. in Hogsmeade

  4. Cheryl, I just ran across a picture of a piglet squid. It's a squid that looks like a piglet!

  5. Yes, anonymous, I have changed my sheets since the summer of 2006, and in this case I was thinking new season = new sheets. (Though, to anticipate your next question, I had changed them since the start of spring 2007 as well!)

  6. "Oddly I find it much harder to get rid of CDs than I do books, even with the fact that I store half my albums on iTunes. . . . "

    That's so funny, and so familiar. I'm about to pay a guy $20.00 an hour to alphabetize my CDs, and I have all of them on my iPod! Sometimes the artifact is more important than the content.

    R. Crumb once used the phrase, "Another ego-triumph to gloat over on my deathbed." A grim way to look at it, but pretty much true.