categorically speaking

most people label their boxes in standard categories when they move — kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, books, misc. i was packing today and realized that i could also create categories for those items that surface only at moving time, washed ashore suddenly, into my vision again. my packing has been slowed by these things, silt and debris that i absolutely must ponder over, turn over in my palm, finger the wounds, mull, marvel at. i could label boxes by era and fill each box with ex-boyfriends pictures, CDs boys made me that i don’t listen to anymore, manuals for computer programs i don’t use anymore, birthday cards i can’t throw away, letters from my grandmother that i never wrote back to, used books bought for $1 and still unread, t-shirts from college programs, priscilla shirk’s shower curtain that i never put up, magazines that might make for collage material, skeins of yarn that i will never knit with, hammers and screwdrivers from my grandfather in case something needs fixing, dvds i don’t watch, and one or two that i never returned to the video store, piles and piles of teaching materials that i don’t know how to use, journals that i haven’t cracked open in years, old dayplanners with only a few weeks of entries, postcards from plays, shows and art exibits i never went to, magazine articles i saved because i might need them again someday, an unopened thermometer, a coat with the tags still on, and letters i wrote on my typewriter at 2am but never sent to anyone.

I’m throwing out a lot. But definitely not everything.

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