Moving: What I Lost, What I Took

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I moved over 20 times. The city I call home (for now). 

FROM THE DESK OF: Aiza

Inspired by The Last Thing, Or Song For When They Take It All Away by Patrick Rosal

With every move from city to new city (and back), borough to new borough (and back) inevitably, I lose a part of me. With the start and end of a relationship, inevitably I lose some part of me. Real tangible items and intangible pieces of me disappear from one apartment to the next. Occasionally, a memory triggers and I find myself searching unpacked boxes trying to recover some lost part of me from two, three or maybe even ten apartments ago.

After all the years, I created a method to pick up and move , many times with barely anything at all. While living on the East Coast I took as much as I could during my earlier moving phases. I had no choice for the simple reason I didn’t have enough money. I brought the worn out family donated love seat, a small 12” TV, a folding card table for toaster oven dinners, my IKEA desk and full size bed from Jersey City to the Lower East Side to Park Slope to Stuy Town. Yet with each move, one less furniture piece survived to the next new space.

When I returned home to LA, I purposely left mostly everything behind. I gave up the winter jackets, the now fashionable duck boots, the J. Crew rain boots and the perfect umbrella. I thought, It Never Rains In Southern California. Instead of essentials, I mistakenly boxed up and shipped school textbooks and miscellaneous papers. For the record, it does in fact rain in Southern California. I admit, the books collect dust and remain never opened. These books only sit on the shelf to serve as visual reminder of academic acheivement and painful school loan payment due dates.

To this day, I find myself still trying to re-create my seasonal gear from ten years ago. I wish I kept the winter jackets, the duck boots, the J. Crew rain boots and the perfect umbrella. I still find myself trying to re-create those years where I everything still seemed possible.

Since back, I found a way to rebuild a life again and again in LA. Relationships started and ended. I lost valuables along the way. I chose to give away necklaces, sold a futon and that one Rolex watch which looking back maybe I should have kept. I lost Bar Review books, photographs, pots and pans. I miss my grown up living room furniture sets, trendy bar stools and the flat screen TV. Taken from me are friends who never really were mine, morning hugs from children I grew to love and women I secretly hoped I could one day call family.

I keep the rice cooker my parents bought me. Still works. I took the best shoe rack. I pack with each move the 1994 mix tape; the homecoming picture, all the postcards and letters. I never leave behind the diamond stud earrings gifted to me, wrapped in a brown paper bag; a reminder of my last Valentine’s Day lunch before I left New York for good and a reminder of young love and breakup.

After all these years, I learn to take less and less but now carry my dearest treasures onto the next move and the next move again after that.

 

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