Little Boxes, Derelict Tape

The tape will not stick to the side of the box.  I press it down, smooth it out, but it still curls over itself in a backbend, hanging down.  When the boxes are filled, when my boyfriend arrives to help move them into the truck, will the tape still stick to the bottom?

Maciej sends me boxes.  He also sends me candies— Polish chocolate marshmallow candies, Cadbury Creme Eggs out of season.  This is because he is infinitely practical, and because he won’t be there to help me move.  Chocolates are practical things, when you consider that for all our reason, we are irrational beings with things called emotions.

I keep saying that I’m not sad to be moving, but it’s not true.  But if I tell people I’m sad, my thoughts and feelings are flattened: suddenly I’m just sad, and there is only sad.  People try to cheer you up.

Chocolates aren’t addressed to cheer.  They are small edible comforts, bypassing the flat, trite explanations.  They are favorites.  They take care of something, just having them.  They are doing emotional work.  “I’m here, though I’m not.”

I am elated.  It’s a small city, Tallahassee.  I will get to explore it by bicycle.  There are pecan trees everywhere.  What does a ripe pecan look like?  I will never pay for pecans again.

I am leaving the only satisfying retail position I have ever worked.  I am leaving friends that I want to pull around me like a blanket.  I know where all the mango trees overhang the roads.  It is mango season.  There are seasons in South Florida, and this is the one for rain and mangoes.  There are mangoes ripening on my counter while everything but my knife and cutting board are in boxes.

I will be able to grow blueberries, for the first time in almost twenty years.

Maciej sends me emails.

I am fucking tired of packing.  I am tired of the tape falling off.  I am tired.  I cycle to my favorite coffee shop.  They have gotten a new espresso machine, and the shots taste just right.  They nestle just off Himmarshee Street, across from the railroad tracks where the freight trains thunder through every so often.

I open an email from Maciej.  He has typed “words on moving and nostalgia and relationships” into the subject line. 

My coffee is perfect.


“Things you should do in [Fort Lauderdale]:

-Watch trains”

I am sitting at a wooden table in the coffee shop window, waiting for a train to pass.  I have been waiting for almost an hour, but nothing has gone by, and the people in business suits meander in and out, taking steaming paper cups with them.


– Hug your coworkers if that sort of thing’s okay.

– Hug EVERYONE”

There are not enough hugs in the world, and I have hugged coworkers again and again, had dinner over at houses, felt tears pricking my eyes during conversation.  I have hugged friends I never hug, hugged friends I always hug.  I feel like I’m trying to hug the ground itself here.


Things to keep in mind:

– Boxes need to be closed on the bottom; the top can be left open.


I worry about the tape.

“- Driving through Sarasota is less than 50 miles more than driving direct.”

I miss New College.  Not New College now, but Palm Court at three in the morning in 2006 under bare feet in the fog as I creep across campus to the bay, which will never again smell of brine and pine and roses because they took out all the roses.

“- Stop and look around frequently. Landscape is nice with someone you love.”

I will stop with my boyfriend at all the spots along the way where the landscape changes; I will point out across the Everglades the grasses that make me feel smallest, the slash pines that taught me to love places other than New England.

“Other important shit:
– Moving is stressful and shitty and brings out the worst in people. The closest I ever came to breaking up with [my girlfriend] was as a result of an awful experience helping her move. You’ve done it enough to know how you’ll react to it; does HE know? (p.s. I don’t know if it’ll be stressful and awful for you, but if it is it wouldn’t be great to blindside him with it; similarly, if he’ll start FREAKING OUT it’s better to know in advance.)”

It’s true.  Moving is stressful as shit.  I feel everything, I am overflowing with everything I’m feeling, and the release lever is tears.  I think my boyfriend knows.  It’s hard to explain through the tears, but we sat patiently talking about it, the excitement and nostalgia and fear and stress and sorrow.  The joy.  I’m moving.  I’m moving!  What does a ripe pecan look like?  I already know where all the mango trees overhang the road here.

My coffee is perfect.  I will have to buy more tape.  There is a freight train finally coming.  I can feel it through my toes.


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