I hate moving. It used to be a neutral thing, an adventurous thing, but like most adults, I’ve done it so many times now, it’s painful. That’s what I was doing today. Moving.
It never fails to stir up a hornet’s nest. In past moves, going back to the old place brought up wistfulness: the trace of lavender and sugar cookie. Or brought up an aching nostalia: lemon pine floor cleaner and jasmine tea. Personal smells that haunt a place like a ghost.
Today, I wasn’t even move to anywhere new. I was just moving a lot of stuff out from an old place. Instead of wistful sad sweet, the place was hung with a cloud of dread. This was a pit. Port Charlotte. I don’t want to badmouth the place. I just can’t live here. It is the home of my depression, my anorexia. It was where I was raped. There is no public transit. The libraries close early on Fridays. Some aren’t even open on Mondays. The sidewalks roll up around 6pm. The only places open through the night are as follows: a Walmart; a Denny’s, a Wafflehouse. On weekends, so is the IHOP over the bridge in Punta Gorda. Even the best coffee in town shut down; Mrs. McDougall’s is no more. Port Charlotte is a suburb of nowhere.
It isn’t hard to see why coming back, even for this task, would leave me so drained. Like Spider Jerusalem, I hate it here. It’s hard to work up the energy to sort, pack, discard, box. It’s hard to imagine what possessed me to ever consent to live here. This is a place for other people. Not me.
The house I used to live in looks like a rodent’s den, uncleaned. The pall is palpable. My old books are laced with spiderwebs. The looming foreclosure casts strange shadows into the corners. It’s hard to find the things I once found dear.
This is it, though. Anything left is gone for good. I just can’t seem to work up the energy here to care. I want to go home. I miss Miami. I miss Fort Lauderdale. I want to go out to the Original Fat Cat’s and down a cider. I want to go explore the coffeeshops dotted throughout. I want to bum around with friends playing shesh besh ’til dawn. I want this right now.
Instead, I’m exhausted, haunted, and posting late.