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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Once A Hoarder, Not Necessarily Always A Hoarder...

Nearly a year ago, I took a plane over to John F Kennedy International Airport with two suitcases. The red one, which a friend let me have, had a taped up gash due to sneaker theft on a return flight from China -- that was also the reason why it was bequeathed to me. The other was a giant Tumi suitcase I found on Craigslist for $35 because shortly prior to my one-way trip I was informed that Tumis were the strongest suitcase and had a lifetime guarantee. Let's see if that guarantee still stands with somebody else's monogram on it. Together, they contained everything I needed to permanently settle in New York. Warm clothes, some notepads, a mold of my teeth from 4th grade before I got my braces (along with my zebra skin retainer), a harmonica, a game of Loteria (complete with supplementary bottle caps collection) and about 9 lucky pairs of shoes that didn't make the donation cut... At the time, these were the essentials. I threw out or donated most of my belongings, boxed up and stored high school notes and pen pal correspondence, and vowed to ship the remainder back one day.

About six months ago, I visited my family and friends for the first time since the monumental move. Back then, I thought I was ready to ship my stuff back to NY, mostly books and movies. I realized that I didn't really care for much of what I thought I needed half a year earlier. I put about 40% of the remaining books in garbage bags headed for the Goodwill, and occasionally tossed some over to Gordis to add to her reading list. Last month, she came to visit and asked if I needed anything from home. I requested a collage I once made of legos and a box of colored pencils that, when assembled together, created the image of a muscle man; for some reason, I had really been longing for these items. Upon her arrival she mentioned she didn't have the space for the collage in her luggage and that that she couldn't find the muscle man colored pencils, which really meant she had no clue as to what I was talking about. Nevertheless, those were the things I needed.

Last week, I was in my parents' garage making the final choices as to what I was shipping over... And the process went a lot smoother, a lot quicker, marked by very quick scanning and selection. What I once could not be parted from a year ago had somehow been reduced to 10% of everything I had owned. I perused eight piles of books that survived about five processes of elimination and created three neat stacks during that decisive moment. Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Martin J.S. Rudwick's book on Georges Cuvier, a guide to etiquette in Japan that LaTasha gave me post-high school, Federico Garcia Lorca's ouevre thanks to Mr. Raybuck's Spanish Lit course which I didn't really enjoy until it was over, a book my mom gave me about Astrology and one all about sewing from the 1970's that I never read (and will probably never read), but has a great cover and photos... My stuff's personal value basically plummeted along with our economy while I was away. The same phenomenon was repeated during my movie selection. At that fatal moment, where I screened exclusively for films I'll screen at my new home, I decided I didn't care to watch Forest Gump again, but I'd definitely end up watching Hook at some point.

The things I chose to bring back were not necessarily the most beautiful or impressive. There was no real order as to how I ended up with those three medium boxes. It was all very natural. Although, I suppose there is a mysterious system when it comes to sentimentality. My David Sedaris books were given to my 14 year old brother, Tim Burton movies (except for Beetlejuice) were left for my sister, and I gave my mother the copy of An Officer and a Gentleman because Richard Gere is in it... I returned the slowly accumulated gangster films I had stolen from my father, bit by bit, and oh, I found my beloved muscle man colored pencils... They are currently sitting beside me on my desk.


  1. I'm actually super-inspired by this entry. I've been very seriously contemplating a big move this year.

  2. Thank you, May, it's so nice to read that. I hope you're well xo

  3. Thank you for leaving behind the Tim Burton movies for me :)

    I'm still mad you took Night at the Roxbury though. I'm gonna have to order some used DVDs in hopes of recreating your great movie collection...


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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?


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