Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day three hundred and forty seven ... Leaving more than footprints.

There's a certain sound that an empty cupboard makes when you close it.

It has more room from all that has been removed, but it's unaccustomed to being able to accept as much air from the outside as the door closes, and so it makes a soft "boom" sound that reverberates from the edges where the paint wears away a bit more each time.

It almost sounds like it doesn't want to be alone--like it's yelling to the empty rooms around it for support. But they just ignore the cupboards. They're busy trying to adapt to their own changes.

"Where's all the stuff?" is a phrase I can imagine is rather overused by the walls and the floor; the ceilings and the light switches; the sink, shower and toilet, who, themselves, are probably more than a little thrilled for the break. 

But the cupboards have it the roughest. They had grown fond of the cans of tuna; the jug of molasses; the tupperware full of flour (some on the outside, but most where it belongs) and the constant attention. They had purpose; they had intention; they had an ability to keep my life in order, and they did so with unflagging consistency.

I mean, if you got attended to as often as a set of cupboards--the constant insertion and removal of foodstuffs, plates, utensils, and just random junk--and then it all stopped. Well, it would be a bit of a shock, to say the least.

To think of all the times I opened my cupboards and looked for something to eat--or for that matter, something to eat on--I'd develop a certain amount of vanity, almost like a celebrity.
And then times change and it comes time to find a new audience.

It's not that you can't do your job as well as you used to. I mean, perhaps there's a bit of gunk in spots that wasn't there when you started, and maybe a bit of cosmetic surgery might tighten up some of the wrinkles and dings that come with age, but you still have a solid purpose in life and you will for as long as your nails and screws will hold you together.

But your audience has moved on to something a bit more permanent; something more rewarding; something newer, fresher, and more exciting.

Today was the last day I could call my apartment at 15 Stearns Ct. my home.

I have loved that apartment for a little over eight years. It has seen me at my worst more often than it has seen me at my best, but at least it has seen my best at all. Some people never have.

I've written songs, dissected songs, and--much to the silent dismay of my neighbors--had full band rehearsal. 

I've entertained women, both successfully as well as mysteriously not.

I've grown plants, trained pets, and celebrated birthdays.

I've learned of the death of close family, friends, colleagues, enemies, and distant relatives. 

I've heard the gossip of hook-ups, and the tangible facts of engagements, marriages, births, break-ups, divorces, and settlements. 

I've received cards from friends and relatives for joyous occasions--both seasonal and non--and flowery condolence letters sent in the hopes that, for a few moments, as I reach for the letter opener, that I can stifle my tears and regain my composure long enough to recognize the handwriting on the return address.

I've had deliveries, packed in bubble wrap, both from music stores as well as pharmaceutical companies. 

I've been sent paperwork from car dealerships, and important documentation from the courts system. 

I've left to go to the bar for some of the worst reasons ...

... and I've left to go to meetings for some of the best.

And each time I left I've always come back.

But today I left my apartment for the last time.

Sure, I have some junk in the basement that I'll have to eventually bring to the dump. I'll be back a few times to do that. But for all intents and purposes I have cleaned the floors, sinks, toilet, shower, walls, closets, and stove for the last time.

And each time I brought more and more stuff out to my car and over to my new house my apartment became more and more like an echo chamber.

Each box of cassettes or video tapes; each bag of clothes I haven't worn in years; each table, chair and cabinet that left the same way it came in made my apartment more susceptible to sounding like a cavern.

And somebody will soon walk through that door and say, "wow," just like I did--their voice bouncing off the hard, clean floors and walls.

Because it's nice.

It's a beautiful spot. It's simple. It's orderly. Its floors are level. It's got plenty of mojo, and the people who live in the other three apartments are all wonderful.

And soon someone will be filling the rooms with furniture. They'll most likely make a few more dings in the hallway sheetrock from the mischievous unseen weathered edges of their couch. They'll probably get some stuff from their own old place, and perhaps a few things delivered new from a store. 

They'll fill up the fridge and the freezer.

They'll load up the cupboards.

And each new piece that comes through the door will dampen the cavernous sound that the four modest rooms elicit with each footstep.

And I hope they enjoy it as much as I have.

I didn't have to put a security deposit down when I moved in eight years ago.

But I have to say I feel like I'm leaving one behind.

Thanks for reading.


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