Most of our belongings arrived two days ago and are sitting scattered about the apartment (waiting for Q’ul to utilize them in his quest to single-handedly increase the entropy of flat 4B). I’ve been here before. Staring at boxes. Preoccupied with whether I like that shirt, does it even fit anymore, and when did I purchase that? It’s like re-living memories except that I just re-lived them about 3 months ago while packing. The word culling (along with a vision of weak sheep being weeded out of the herd) comes to mind, and I apply the same logic to these mounds of material goods. The Kolkata Kid becomes the Kolkata Kuller.
Is there a point in life where you start get rid of more things than you gain? People get smaller because their bones start to shrink, so why not the accumulation of material possessions? Maybe I just need a professional decorator. No, that can’t be it. It’s that I just don’t get the idea of tchotchkes, of objects placed at feng shui angles on a coffee table so that there’s nowhere to place your drink. I long for clean lines and a clean slate.
And what do you do with your new found reduction in material things? We’ve all read the story of the woman in the U.S. who donated an old Mr. Goodbar t-shirt to CARE or some such organization only to see it hanging on the frame of an adolescent in a random developing world country. “Hey that’s my t-shirt,” she exclaims to all her fellow tour bus riders. The shirt is still hers. It’s just in a different country. Narcissism at its finest.
We’ve given many things to our nanny. I think she enjoys these items. I pray that I never see those leaf green, Ace-brand workpants again.