The Proverbial Pendulum
From a few weeks before I moved down here.
I am in his room packing the clothes I left in our closet when I moved into the spare down the hall over a month ago. I will be moving to San Francisco in two weeks. This is not the reason that we broke up. I grab the clothes quickly from the hangars. On his side of the closet his few shirts hang forlornly, they shudder at the chill of the emptying space. The fleeting feeling of lives intertwined, unwrapping.
I see suddenly as my fingers are poised over the indigo blue key bowl, that is filled with anything but keys, that the heartbreaking thing about moving out of a home shared by two is not separating your stuff from his, but the disposal of things accumulated that belong to no one in particular. There’s a black hairband in the bowl. It is mine I suppose, but I don’t need it now, my hair is short. I wonder what he will do with it as he goes through his things in a week when he must move out too. It is almost incomprehensible that he will probably throw it away.
My high school boyfriend wore a similar hairband of mine around his wrist for six weeks after we broke up, just because it was mine. I have learned the romantic weight of hair elastics.
I go through my things trying to be ruthless in my selections, what to keep and what to leave. This is not hard, since I have always liked to throw things away. To begin again again again. I find the box. The box that every relationship must have, filled with mementos of each lovely experience. I cannot throw away any of the notes, not even a small slip of pink paper that is only marked by a small heart and the letter “M.” I hoard these scraps greedily, while a die, and a small porcelain cup that I know came out of a vending machine, are quickly buried in the garbage so he won’t see.
A heavy glass vase, a pink feathery barrette, elastic headbands, a day planner, push-pins, a pink bridesmaid dress. I stare forlornly at the curling iron in the garbage, I am arguing with myself. What if I want to curl my hair in San Francisco? I haven’t curled my hair since high school. I consider that maybe in San Francisco I will be someone who curls her hair. I realize that in San Francisco I will not be “someone who curls her hair.” I will just be me, in San Francisco. The curling iron does not climb out of the garbage, and I do not climb in after it.
Today my horoscope revealed that the past year was supposedly difficult because Saturn had moved into my third house. During the second year of Saturn, it said, my actions will begin to pave the way for great success.
I wonder what I have been doing all this time.