Saturday, June 10, 2023

Do the Work

I've admitted to being overweight like a hideous beast.  I've admitted my limp from a knee I cannot seem to rehab on my own.  Yesterday, I found out something new.  

What made me do it?  I can't remember clearly now, it seems so yesterday.  But after reading and writing in the morning, I decided to clean out my closet.  Maybe that is not what I decided.  Perhaps I was just going to "straighten" it, but cleaning is what I ended up doing.  Ah, yes. . . I remember now.  I wanted to find the reel to my fly rod.  There it is.  So. . . . 

The first thing I decided to do was get rid of useless clothing.  Not bad clothing. . . useless.  Shoes I will not wear, pants that no longer fit, old shirts I wore as a foreman.  But first, I told myself, I would need to try them on.  Just in case.  I began with pants.  I discarded ten pairs of jeans.  How in the hell had I ever fitted into those.  Next came the khakis.  Gone.  Gone.  Then the nicer pants, silk, linen and wool.  Nothing fit anymore, and I was ashamed.  More than that.  I was devastated.  

Than the shirts.  I got rid of at least half of them.  I had an enormous pile of clothes on the bedroom floor that was destined for some charity.  There was a shoe rack running half a wall long that once held someone else's shoes.  It sat empty, a hinderance.  Gone. I had bags piled up in a corner of the closet next to the shoe rack.  I halved them.  A big box of shit from my car that I didn't know what to do with.  Gone.  All of it.  It was dusty.  My eyes burned, my nose ran.  I was sneezing constantly.  

Cameras and camera bags sat on top of my cedar chest.  I took them all out into the bedroom to sort later.  I didn't want them on the chest any longer.  I went through my t-shirt and shorts drawers.  Gone. Gone.  Gone.  I opened the cedar chest.  Ohhh. . . that is where that was.  All the things I needed for the cooler and cold weather.  But there were also old sweaters I bought before global warming made them useless.  In truth, I must have been nuts to have bought them, huge, thick oiled wool sweaters that would only be of use in Nova Scotia.  They are worth something, I thought.  Hell, they've hardly been worn.  eBay, I thought.  Other sweaters. . . gone.  I just hold onto thing so long I don't even know I have them.  

Two boxes of audio equipment, most of it not of much use.  I separated what was from what wasn't and put the stuff I might use again in a smaller box.  The other two were going to the garage.  Shipping tubes full of old posters.  Wait. . . what am I going to do with these?  

I couldn't throw them away.  Too romantic.  I rolled them up and put them back in the shipping tubes.  They were never going to go on my walls, but I just. . . . 

Leather bags, none of them from Ghurka.  One Il Bisonte, the softest leather you have ever touched. . .  one Timberland. . . how did I ever carry these.  Empty they must have weighed five pounds.  O.K.  But heavy.  

Decisions were getting tougher, but at least now the floors were getting cleared.  I grabbed the vacuum and began cleaning the shelves and dusty corners.  Lots and lots of dust.  Many trips to the garbage cans carrying armfuls of things to be discarded.  

I looked at the clock.  It was after three.  The closet was clean but my bedroom floor was full.  I began making trips to the garage and to the car to load the clothing I was going to donate.  There was a Boys and Girls Club Thrift Shop in a plaza near my mother's house.  

I thought there would be some excitement when I dropped off the clothes.  I had filled a giant, deep container with nice stuff.  But donations were made at the back door and the fellow who took the stuff could not have cared less.  

At my mother's house, there was more to do.  I had brought some block out curtains that I had found in a bag in the closet for her.  And once again, her computer was not working.  After messing with all that, I was ready for home.  I hadn't eaten anything all day.  I was tired and getting sore.  And that was the big surprise, the new thing I learned.  All that bending and getting down and getting up and reaching high and twisting, pulling on and off shirts and pants. . . all that core stuff. . . .   I hurt worse than the day I spread fourteen yards of mulch.  I was in misery.  I wan't hungry.  I wanted a drink.  

Back home, I poured a cocktail and took out the leftover Asian noodles from the night before, then the leftover chicken thing that was only a few bites.  Another cocktail.  A cheroot.  I didn't need to eat.  I was fat and sore from closet work.  I should never eat again.  

Heat and mosquitos drove me into the house.  I decided on a hot Epsom Salts bath and a shower.  Then I was both limp and stiff.  I dressed and looked at the mess on the bedroom floor and decided to tackle it.  I sat on the floor near the pile of photo bags and cameras.  Lots of them.  Sitting on the floor hurt.  I am stiff as a stick.  My knee made it harder.  I should sit on the floor all the time, I thought as my feet started to go numb.  I went through bag after bag after bag, finding a space on the newly cleared closet shelves for each one.  Then that was done.  I walked into the closet just to admire.  I had gotten rid of at least half my clothes, had thrown away at least half of what was on the floor.  I couldn't tell.  The closet still looked full.  

I forgot to take any pain pills before bed.  I am stiff and sore this morning.  More than sore.  It is painful to move.  And I'm fat.  When I finish writing this, I will go for a long walk.  I am thinking of trying a swim somewhere.  I won't eat until dinner.  That's the plan.  

Plans.  I am rewatching Mrs. Maisel.  I am in Season Two.  Maisel tells Lenny Bruce she has a career plan.  He says, in essence, fuck plans.  Everybody has a plan.  Never mind the plan.  Just do the work.  You have to do the work.  

Yea.  That's it.  I've been planning.  I've had plans.  

I had been planning to clean out the closet.  Yesterday I did the work.  

And so. . . less thinking, more doing.  I'll let you know how that turns out. 

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