September 9, 2015, 10:25 pm
Filed under: when I grow up | Tags:

There was this hiatus from everything, caused by living out of a bag, for years.  Nothing could really be purchased for a hypothetical future – no giant jars of vitamins for when I would eventually be healthier and take vitamins, no clothes for places I did not know I would go yet but imagined myself in, no supply of anything to last months.  Books were read and swapped, magazines digested and shared, soap was bought in single bars.

Moving on required a careful consideration of everything going back in the bag, and generally, a purge.  Do you love it enough to carry it?  Need it enough to keep it?  A laugh seeing pictures of friends wearing things you left behind in a bag somewhere, scavenged like you had from everyone who left before.

Things here were more complicated.  Jobs that needed clothes, the pros and cons of bulk buying, a proliferation of BOGOs and limited-time offers.  Consumerism and clutter crept in, just a bit, things expanding to fill spaces.

It really reached an apex during The Costco Year.

Living close to a Bulk Warehouse of Big Food, the membership cost seemed to be amortized against arguable savings.  The problem with this is that the savings cost is really constructing and storing your own mini-warehouse of dry goods.  The problem with this is that by the 20th serving of zesty hummus, an erstwhile treat has become an unenviable curse. A  garlic-and-tahini flavoured curse.  The problem with this is throwing away some rotting excess that you have watched decay, day after day, overestimating your needs and underestimating the rate of decline.  The problem is the kilos of rice that you will forget to store properly that breed the insects that slowly start to drive you crazy.

And, then, beyond that.  Clothes forgotten about until unearthed in a laundry pile.  A backlog of non essential toiletries.  A stack of partially read periodicals.  Not as much as most, but far beyond what we were comfortable with before.

And then.

The future became real again.  The point where all of this will have to condense, where the elastic band has reached full extension.

The membership was not renewed.

Then, a moratorium on everything.  Socks, underwear, hand cream (which ought to have been subject to a ban already), pants, magazines, miscellany.  Gathering up things that must go, to put in the alley where they always will, carted away by enterprising scrappers and re-sellers.

In the end, I guess, a small bag will wheel out, the same way it came in.  Packed with things that matter, leaving things that used to.

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