Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Pile that Ate our Apartment


The Pile is a living thing - a tower of luggage, clothes, and belongings that have to be sorted before we go. It waxes and wanes and sometimes, like the US in its infancy, overspills its borders and invades the outlying plains. When it's messy, my whole life seems out of control. When it's neat, I think: I've got this thing licked. I'm ready. I'm ready. Both feelings are illusory, of course.

Today I packed up the necklace my Mom brought back from Ireland for me, way back when. With her typical sentimentality, she thrust one at each of us daughters and said "Don't lose this, it's the only inheritance you're going to get." My record on jewelry is extremely poor, so I did the sensible thing: I put it on and havent' taken it off for, oh, 15 years or so. Views on the frequency of necklace-snatchings in Jakarta are mixed, but why risk it? So the necklace isn't coming with us.

It actually feels kind of liberating to be without it for a while. Sometimes when I looked down, I'd get my chin caught in it. Now my chin is free, and so's the rest of me, I suppose.

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