what they want to take

I watch it because I’m like them, on some level.

You don’t realize how upsetting it is to lose things until you turn around and have lost — other things. Things that sparked joy, but nobody cared.

My nightmare as a child was that someone would take the things that sparked joy and burn them. Power over me, power over what I got to keep. Haircuts I didn’t ask for or want, just done for convenience because whoops, I grew a head of Hermione Granger’s hair. Moves where, every time, we left something and something and something behind, like my cat that one time. Like my entire sense of security and belonging.

Losses of people. Guilt because I couldn’t go be with them.

So you see when it’s something small and stupid that makes me happy and I’ve always thought, “Someday I’ll have this in my own home”, and I look around online and find that the equivalent type of object really doesn’t make me happy at all (so, no replacement) — yes, I will get upset if you decide it’s just trash. And when I ask you to ask me, when it’s something cool that you know fits my aesthetic (midcentury modern, 60s-80s) I am being reasonable. It’s if I don’t ask that I’m being unreasonable. You can’t guess.

If the item is something that sparks joy, but is truly done, yes, I can let it go. But if it’s not, then I’m not ready. There are times when I’m not ready and I’ll do it anyway because reasonably, something better will happen if I do (my burning bush, my lilacs along the side of the house).

I dreamed I missed the dancing opportunity of a lifetime last night because people I thought were my friends forgot to come get me. I dreamed my hair was then cut off and dyed burgundy and I hated it but it was out of my hands, the people I actually liked were telling me it was a lost cause.

I woke up to screaming. Not my own.

And then recriminations about how we’re always fighting so hard. I think that bothers me more. It’s not true that we’re always fighting anymore. We squabble like normal humans. Only Vulcans can set aside their emotions and be utterly peaceful with each other, living in close quarters with a fraught history.

Vulcans don’t exist, Mama.

I can reason. I can’t solely reason.

I can reason that, if the basement will be cleared, I should be told as much because I genuinely didn’t know about that part. I can also reason that probably the stink and the spiders will have got anything that once might have been rescued for use, like old cool luggage. So I can probably go down there, take a quick look around, and not be too upset tomorrow. If I don’t watch it actually happening, then I won’t notice the details. Even though, to be frank, it’s a lot of my childhood going in that cleanout.

They still make Legos and Duplos. It’s replaceable if I need it.

Etsy and Ebay carry retro luggage sets.

But there’s a reason a good cleanout is done by looking at things.

Something will probably go out tomorrow that fills some nagging hole in me, some gap of “I’m missing this, I can’t figure it out but I am missing this.” And I’ll live with that gap never quite understanding what it was.

I don’t want to be the person who tries to fill the gap with the wrong thing until I have a hoarded-up house of mistakes. I’m not sold on new-and-shiny very often, either, and haunting the thrift shops takes work I’m not willing or able to put in.

Worst of all, this is not exactly the best week to be dealing with things. I’m groggy, my online class is a hot mess, and I’m really feeling the side effects of these antibiotics. I manage what I manage because I have to. If it were up to me, I’d sleep away as many hours as my body told me to. Having my emotions jacked around is counterproductive.

In the past I’d have sarcastically written, “Whatever, it’s only my emotions, right?” I need to stop that. Those emotions count. They’re not a joke. I’m not a joke. I’m a person. And I have OCD, which manifests sometimes as a tendency to hoard. I’m working on it but I can’t force it to go at lightning speed — or at least, as fast as some would like. If you throw me into a setback, it takes me time to get comfortable again. My brain goes all kinds of illogical places that normal people don’t understand, like “if I don’t protect what’s mine, he’ll destroy it out of spite”. So I’m going to post this, then I’m going to go wash the canisters retrieved from the trash, and then I’m going to put them somewhere safe until I’m either ready to let go or have a home to display them in.

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