object permanence

…”Object permanence” being here defined as the state of living in the same place as all of my stuff.

Way the hell back in 2012 – like, a whole 9% of my life ago – I wrote this angsty blog post about the lack of permanence in my life; about the lack of a place to call properly home. Twenty (and twenty-two, yes) is way the hell too young to worry about never ever finding permanence, of course, and I know that, but a big move a year for five straight years does wear down on a person. Making the unconscious decision not to be too close to people in one’s geographic location, to cut down on goodbyes, is kind of a sad way to live for more than a few years at a time.

I don’t have too much to say today, even though a lot has happened in the past week. I live in Chicago now, and my neighborhood is beautiful and the weather is great and tomorrow I am going to go and hand off paperwork to my law school. I drove a truck a lot of hours, and became heartily sick of Indiana. I am sitting in the apartment that the government is helping me pay to keep.

I have filled up half of this apartment, because someone else is coming soon to fill up the other half, and I am reluctant to put things in their permanent places before she comes here. I don’t want to get used to how this place looks when I live in it; I know what places look like when I live in them. I want to know what this place will look like when we live in it. And so I’ve carefully consigned my clothes to half the closet, and used up only two shelves of the bookshelf that came with the place, and put half of the things I brought to hang on walls into storage, and put felt under all the furniture so that it will be easy to move around. I’m reluctant even to hang my favorite poster, for fear that that will put too indelible a stamp on this place – or, not fear, exactly, but this kind of low-key disbelief that this is finally happening. I’m not afraid of this place being too much mine – I just really, really, don’t want it to be.

In 2012, I wrote:

Someday I want to fill a house with a lot of things that I and maybe one other person find beautiful, and that we have chosen together and arranged together and that is, in some way, an extension of us, an establishment of something intangible that we do not see changing.

If I wrote it now, I wouldn’t use the phrasing of “something that we do not see changing.” I’d probably be more specific, say something about how we don’t see it changing in the immediate future, or make it more about choice, about something that we will have chosen to keep throughout whatever changes might come.

But that’s the only change I’d make to that bit, because the rest still stands.

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