Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Spoon

For the past nearly 4 months my life has been in near constant turmoil. I was sick, I couldn't find work, I started a new job, I moved, I moved again, and I moved again. In that order. This last move was also my 8th since coming to L.A. and needless to say, I am completely and totally sick of moving. (also, pics of the new place and the last place I was will go up on Facebook soon for those interested)

But there are a couple of interesting things I've noticed with all this transience. Like how much stuff I've lost while moving, no matter how vigilant I am. Or how much better I got at moving every time I did it (last time took 1-2 hours). And of course with every new residence I become more aware of what kinds of situations make for a better home.

Yet just today it struck me how significant only one or two objects can be in a person's life. Most obvious to me is the rug that I bought a few years back. I've used it in almost every place I've lived since I've been here, and as soon as it has its place any room immediately feels more familiar and welcoming. It's not that the rug serves any important functional purpose - hardwood floors don't ever really bother me here (since it never really gets cold), - it's just nice to have something that is both quality and consistent amidst so much chaos.

Yesterday I also bought a very comfy chair. Given that I currently don't have a bed or a dresser, I'm sure this seems like a bit of a stupid purchase. But this chair gives me my own personal place for reading and thinking. Beds are for sleeping. Floors are uncomfortable. The rest of the house might be shared at any time. But this chair both makes my room more home-y, and gives me a second kind of privacy that I guess I value more than I thought I did. It gives me the privacy of thought and reflection away from the possible distractions and criticisms of other people (the first kind of privacy would be the privacy of sleeping without the possible distractions and criticisms of other people).

And then there is the spoon. The spoon is not mine - I accidentally and unknowingly brought it to my new residence in a dirty tuperware container that I forgot to clean after work one day. The spoon comes from the house with 11 people living in it. The house where I slept on the couch, where there is always drama for somebody (if not everybody) and always stress. The house where you never know what might happen and who you might dividing up sleeping space with. This is also the house in which if I feel the most unwelcome if I ever must stay the night. There is a kind of balance if I only ever visit - even if regularly. But once I must sleep there - even if I only sleep there- invariably something much more unwelcome will come my way.

So, the spoon, when I see it, makes me unhappy, almost as much as the rug or the chair make me happy or comfortable. When I see it I have visions of its owners tongue-lashing me for having "stolen" it. I see their annoyed, condescending faces. "WHY HAVEN'T YOU RETURNED THE SPOON, HEATHER?" it says. "ALL YOU EVER DO IS TAKE! YOU NEVER HELP ANYBODY YOU LEECH."

Ug. I really have to return that damn spoon.

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