April is usually the month of spring cleaning. As a youngster, I would help wash the silver, clean the fans, wash the baseboards, and plunge my hands in SoftSrub so often my hands looked as white as my mother’s. My mother stayed at home and, to this day, is a bit of a domestic dynamo. Although I crochet and am about to start using my first sewing machine, I can think of better things to do with my time than sniffing Pine Sol.
But, this week I did my own version of Spring Cleaning. It had nothing to do with dust; it had more to do with dynamics.
Objects hold the energy of their owners. Don’t believe me? Pull out that misspelled love letter that you received in the 11th grade. The boy who wrote is has been long gone, but whenever you touch it, you smile. The energy from the good memory is still there when you open the yellow pages. It’s why people display family photos and childhood keepsakes. Well, they do if they don’t live in NYC, where if you make more than 3 holes in a wall the landlord will try to keep your security deposit.
As I have walked into my apartment in the last 2 weeks, I wondered why I instantly felt a struggle to breathe. My lethargy was palpable; my routine was concrete. Walk the dog for 20 minutes. Pretend to fix a meal. Watch tv. Toss and turn. My apartment felt filled with jello, so bad was the inertia. When I was out and about, I was my usual gregarious self.
The last time I felt the exact same way, I was going through a breakup with the man I thought I would marry. I was pretty done before the actual ending, but the wound was continuously reopened when he began to move his things at the staggering pace of 3 SHEETS OF PAPER PER WEEK. A chair here. A dish here. Each time, accompanied with a conversation that tore my heart to shreds and made being in my apartment unbearable. In a move of brilliance, 2 good friends came over, bottle of wine in hand, yelled “LET’S GET RID OF THIS BAD JUJU!” and moved his shit out in one fell swoop. Well most of it, anyway. I still had the rickety 40″ inch television that I decided to keep for utility. That was the final ripping off of the bandaid that soon began to heal.
Or so I thought. Running into my ex unexpectedly and him dropping some key information that made me feel like shit reopened the wound. Well, not really. It didn’t change my life in any way, but instantly my apartment again filled with jello, and I struggled to keep my thoughts together.
Spring Cleaning was in order, but what was it in my house that I needed to throw out? There was no pile of boxes with someone else’s name that needed to be placed on the street. I decided I was making too much of it. I picked up the remote and attempted to watch my girl Kerry Washington prevent another rich white man from going down on Scandal. But something happened. My tv wouldn’t pick up ABC at all. I would have to watch it on Hulu the next day, which was utterly unacceptable.
Why do I still have this piece of shit? I yelled in a room full of nothing. I had one of those hour-long irrationally angry episodes that Sarah Jessica Parker, Zooey Deschanel, and every woman with a college degree have made famous.
I tried to lift the tv, but didn’t get far, so in my Spring Cleaning fervor, I looked around my apartment for other objects whose energy I wanted to get rid of. That shot glass given to me by that boy who didn’t believe in kissing? GONE! The letters from the white guy who told me loved me, but could never get serious with a brown girl, though he dated brown girls exclusively? DESTROYED! The bath sponge left in my shower by some dude with whom I made the worst personal decision, the same dude who was making equally poor decisions with others? IN THE TRASH!
I felt better immediately. But this, the worst offender of all, was still staring back at me.
I tried to get someone to pick up the 60 lb piece of junk and throw it to the curb with no luck. Alone during the rainy weekend, I realized that just because an object has bad juju for me, doesn’t mean that it will for someone else. Another woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.
So I listed the tv on Craigslist and decided to give it to a woman who had nothing because she was starting her life over with her children after getting out of a domestic violence situation. The relic of my abusive relationship helped (in some small way) someone get out of an abusive relationship. Poetic justice indeed. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.
I put the Nasonex down. Again, in my own apartment, I could breathe.