As I sipped a long-pour of vodka and soda, I listed some things on my neighborhood’s Facebook garage sale site. I didn’t expect it to get so much attention! I woke up to a dozen messages, people wanting appliances, tables, shelves, bikes. One by one I scheduled pick ups, and now I’m about $150 richer while I mourn the loss of my precious stuff. Trying now to take a few moments to think of how my stuff will give others pleasure as it did for me.
The bike, though. That was my form of transportation when I was carless in the late 90’s. I spent every evening on the lakefront riding further and further from my home base, till I was able to do the 30-mile Bike the Drive. One summer I logged 1000 miles riding to and from my job in the south Loop. Then, after handing the car over to my ex in the divorce and before selling our home, I rode 15 miles from Rogers Park to my parents’ home in Mount Prospect, in a symbolic act of strength in the face of sadness. I listened to Bon Iver and Of Monsters and Men as I made my way west, reversing the trip I had made so many years earlier to settle in the big bad city. It was a pattern I would repeat for the next 3 years, visiting my old haunts for a sense of closure. I took up running and made destinations out of schools I had attended, parks and pools where I’d spent my younger years, the filthy bar where I’d shared my misery with grown-up childhood friends, and homes where I had had my first sleepovers, babysitting gigs, piano lessons. I had a rich and rewarding childhood. I loved being able to relive some of my greatest memories when I was so deeply saddened about the course my life had taken in my 30’s.
About 7 months ago I decided to wrap up the old days. As my daughter’s godfather reminded me today, the times, they are a changin’. It’s time to make some new memories and let the old ones stay in the past, to patina and gather dust. Soon I’ll feel a pull to explore new words, and to give my daughter all the joys I never knew as a child.