I remember my first tear down. The last night of the Jackson County Fair in nineteen ninety five. My friend Jon had gotten me a job working with him on a carnival ride for Wade Shows Inc. I had been living above Virginia Coney Island in a small two room efficiency with no kitchen – all my meals were downstairs at restaurant prices. Minimum wage back then was four and a quarter. My first job, Hometown Pizza in Brooklyn, paid me three thirty five to start.
That teardown was tough I suppose, I was green. Carry this, carry that was about all I knew how to do that night. Starting when the fair shutdown at eleven pm, we worked til dawn. Each ride has a crew, and Jon’s crew was full. I was assigned to the crazy dance. We had. a few smoke breaks that night, him telling me about the next stop, Escanaba. Packing the ride onto a semi was hard. Packing my things, well that was easy. I one very large green canvas bag and I stuffed it with the things I needed, some things came, some things stayed.
It’s always hard to leave things behind, at least for me. Like my collection of coffee cups. Each one of them was special to me. My number one dad cup from my elder son. A gift for fathers day, complete with my younger son’s help, making me pancakes and coffee. Later that day, I taught them how to make coffee. That cup is sitting on my desk in Michigan, it was the last thing I saw when I closed the door.
I had a cup from seista key, one from Mensa, one from R&H Grinding, one from JTV, one a gift from Jenny at the Cemetery, and another a gift from the Catholic radio station. I brought one cup with me, none of those, one I had just gotten this year. It was also special to me, not unique in itself, yet as a gift given.
I have come to like my tea in the morning this year. I like it, it tastes, almost sweet, though it’s not. Almost like it has a hint of.. something, I’m not sure. I like that I have to make each cup fresh and there is never a pot to worry about turning off or wasting. And never drinking old tea, just to not waste it. I enjoy my tea. Tea needs a cup. I have a few too many and have used only one. In fact there a lot of things I brought, that I haven’t used yet.
Some things, I just haven’t used yet and I will when I can and want to. Other things I thought I would need and I don’t. Like my walking boot and my cane, I needed both to get here and need neither now. The boot is gone with the garbage, the can is in the front seat where it should be. My snow scraper is gone too, and the backup snow scraper as well. The jumper cables are too bulky as well, and I can jump myself without it.
That was a minor thing today, I’d left the inverter connected and running last night, though with nothing connected. Just its “phantom” draw was enough to run down the battery. No worries, within seconds I disconnected the inverted, connected another battery in its place and started the car, and disconnected it just as easily. The new battery terminals, each with an eighteen inch lead, is pretty handy.
With a goal to solve all my problems, I have admit defeat. I have already found unsolvable problems that have followed me, at least two. Most were easy to leave behind, like my lawn, it would need to be cut, I would cut it, and it would need to be cut again. Once my house is sold this spring, I will not worry about cutting a lawn. I thought I left them all behind, yet these two are here.
The take off list and sorting. I thought I was done, I sorted and the good came with me. Not just functionally good, all my cups worked. (Except the orange diagonal coffee cup, the glue worked, it not so well.) Yet some of the cups made my smile when I picked them up and others had other reactions. Those I left behind. The cup from siesta key, well, made me think of the place, one of my favorite cats, and even some good memories of my ex-wife- I had proposed to her on those white sand beaches. That cup was not coming.
I have a tendency to save little things, little reminders, and if someone gives me something, I probably still have, had it. A friendship braclet from Lauren, a glass turtle from my niece Kayla, little trinkets of memories. Each one special. Little things like that help my memory.
Yet, I’ve spent my life using substances to help me forget things. I’ve written eight hundred words of junk, sorry.
The tear down is going well, yet I am behind schedule, cleaning the car (and the SORTING) was more than I expected today, yet it’s done the car, for today. A few big things to fold down, pack in their bags an hopefully strap on the back. Lots of odds and ends on the picnic table (top of pile stuff.) The biggest chore was the sorting. It bothered me on the way here, very much, that my passenger seat was full, to the top.
Not from my perspective, as the driver. That was actually kind of nice, I felt very tucked in, which was okay for the drive. Yet my problem was that I had no availability for others. Had I seen a stranded motorist (yes, I’m aware of the safety implications,) I would not have been able to offer a ride. I was full. That is too full.
So I sorted, and repacked accordingly (the way I wish I would have been able to the first time.) The trunk first, tools and rigs and things I don’t need now, yet cannot leave as I will need them in the future. It is packed to the brim. In the backseat, are the things I need daily. Food, radios, cookware, clothes. I feel much better organized now, and I have space.
Also, I have a new destination, and not in New Mexico. I thought it was time for west, yet I was wrong, it is time for south.
Much work to be done in the morning. No mile today, yet I have not stopped walking all day, back and forth, back and forth, and the lifting, carrying and walking- I’m sure I’ve done more than three if not four miles it feels. New site tomorrow time. A new chance to throw away the past and to start again.
Time to rest.