I've been moving over the past few days, for the fourth time in the past year, with one more to go before summer is over. This particular stint brings me to my parents' house, where I have been steadily going through all of my worldly possessions in reverse chronological order. My goal is to account for, dispose of, store or abscond with everything that I own. It's a little like geology: I'm starting with the newer stuff, and as I dig deeper, older and more interesting materials have been surfacing.
What you see in the photo here are the remains of my book collection. I have steadily been whittling and paring the numbers down, donating or trading to bookstores and libraries. What a painstaking process! I have long been a bit of a bibliophile. It greatly pains me to part with a book, no matter how cheap (or free) it may have been, or what horrible condition it may have degenerated to. Once when I was 5 or 6, I dropped my Evslin Evslin & Hoopes book on Greek mythology in the toilet, then spent a half hour with Mom's hairdryer trying to dry it out in a way that the pages wouldnt stick (fortunately, it was before I'd dropped any other stuff in there!). I still have that same book. Another toilet-and-book-related incident was when I was grounded from reading (yep, I was punished by being forbidden to read). I snuck into the bathroom with a book in my pant leg under the pretense that I was going #2, but an hour later, Mom got suspicious and I got caught.
At any rate, I suspect that what you can see in this photo now is about half of the number of books that I had a year ago. I amuse myself by epiloguing them as if in an epic adventure or coming-of-age film: I never saw Golem in the Gears again after that day. The Nibelungenlied says he saw him on the bus, in the hands of a younger teenage girl. I still see the cover of my extra copy of Siddhartha every time I see the one I kept, and wonder if I kept the right one. Paradise Lost is now working as a doorjamb at a men's restroom in a factory. No one ever heard from that weird vampire Nazi one again, until a reunion at The Book Bin... You know, stuff like that.
It's wonderful to be with the parents and sister again for a little while, and very satisfactory to tidy up my things, but it hasn't left much room for writing. I am at a point where I feel like I should be spending as much time as I can with friends and family when I'm not working or cleaning or packing. Sure, compared to the time that I've known them, a few days isn't much. The thing about love is that I know it won't matter if I don't see these friends and family for any given length of time, because when I do see them again, we will still love each other. It still feels important to get a last few hang-out sessions or hugs in, though, and I want to make that a priority. I've decided to put off any major writing projects until after I've moved, after which I will ease into it until I've started my new job and have something akin to a schedule. And - oh yes! - after the surfing and SCUBA lessons.