Yard Sale Goodbye

June 14th, 2009 → Leave a comment

Today I watched as years of my hoarding was redistributed among the residents of West Los Angeles. I had a bittersweet moment as I saw my hand-crocheted ninja turtle backpack that I wore throughout college leave on the back of a 7-year old latino kid for $2. I picked up that bag at a Savers in Vegas when I was 18 for $3. (Making depreciation 33%.) It was a signature item of mine at UCLA. But now it rightfully is given new life by an owner of a more appropriate age. I actually teared watching him hop up and down the street wearing it. College was a tough time and strangely enough, that backpack gave me a sense of self. I wondered what his memories would be with it.

I’ve been touring so much, I haven’t noticed how much of a college town I live in until today when all these kids (who for some reason insist on wearing UCLA sweatshirts) came up to us to peruse the sale. There was a girl wearing an Asian Sorority jacket that had “Jimmy’s Little Sis” monogrammed on the back. And I’m thinking, “Oh god, I keep getting older and they stay the same age.”

I’m long overdue for a move.

After days of trying to box things up for the yard sale, I didn’t even put out everything I could have sold. Running up and down the stairs of my apartment and grabbing things of value was exhausting. But I did clear $230. Not bad. It wasn’t about the money, it was about saying the long goodbye to crap and seeing it off to new homes. It was the necessary ritual of separation. If anything, this economic slowdown has afforded me the time to do a massive demolition of my place to clear out my possessions from the bottom on up. I spent a lot of time telling stories about items… “Oh my friends brought that back for me from Laos” or “Oh, my grandmother crocheted that, but I have no room.” Surprisingly, people do buy VHS tapes, magazines, and uncovered records.

This Asian woman named Debbie came by and spent hours with us. Tediously going through things making sure she didn’t leave anything unperused. I let her take my dishes, some of my jewelry– about two boxes of things for $3o. I felt like she was hanging out more just for the company. I was good company and pretty much everytime she picked up something in interest I would say, “Just take it!”

She even came back to tell me she was short one chopstick and I let her grab more stuff. I imagine her life now is my old life of useless cute crap. Poor poor Debbie.

There were moments when I knew things were underpriced, where I felt rich in regret about things I didn’t wear enough or paid too much for. But once they were gone, they were gone and it felt so good.

I swear. No more hoarding.

In my cleaning now. I found a $5 gift certificate to Tower Records and my missing passport. I also found bank statements from 2001 in my dining closet. The passport is expired now. Tower Records is out of business.

All this has me wondering what the F I’ve been doing all these years. How did I let accumulation hit such a low?

I hope my new obsession is hoarding memories of a well lived life.

Category: Moving to Silverlake

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