Saturday, May 5, 2012

Impending Anniversaries We Dread.

The anniversary of our first vaginal infection, our first breakup, our first soul-deadening job, or 5:44 May 22nd in Joplin, MO.  That is the time for me, because that is the time my kitchen clock stopped.  I didn't get rid of it and every time I come upon it in the garage, my heart throws itself against my ribcage.  I could replace the glass and put a battery in it and it would be, will be, a beautiful working clock once again, but for some reason its eeriness prevents me from contemplating it for more than thirty seconds at a time every few months.

All this to say that I have set a date for myself...the anniversary of that torturous gust that snatched my home from me, that if I have not dealt with the last of my besmirched possessions, I will rid myself of them.

Today, I spent a few hours on the task of putting my life back together, an ongoing undertaking since last spring.  I have been dreading the venture for months now, not having touched a single item covered in insulation since before winter, at least.  However, when I dived into my burden today, I found that the multitudes have dwindled to only a few scattered items in the garage and basement.  Today alone, I finished cleaning and organizing what was left of my tattered belongings in the basement and have but a few hours worth of chores in the garage still remaining.  I am relieved.  I feel as if I have more control, just having done the little I did today.

I have decided to leave Tornado Barbie as is and have not cleaned one bit of grit from her hair.  She sits now on my windowsill, triumphant.  My gracious and wonderful aunt left us a bunch of stereo equipment, so today I FINALLY set up the cassette deck and it is the most spectacular-sounding tape deck I have ever owned and all 18 of my cassettes rescued still work!  Some are as old as 25 years.  Cassettes of Kate Bush with track listings penned in my dad's hand.  Mixtapes made my Christine Hale.  I may have lost all her letters to me, but I still have the mixtapes...two of them, anyway.  I am so excited to curl up in my papasan chair and listen to my cassettes on my serious headphones!

Also in the donated pile of equipment is a dvd/vcr combo that I will hopefully set up tomorrow so that I can start pouring through my old vhs video compilations.  I want to figure out how to burn DVDs of my favorite music videos of all time for my next zine.  I'm not sure how I'll accomplish that yet (if anyone has any ideas, please let me know...do I need a special DVD burner or will my computer suffice?  Can I extract Youtube or Vevo files in order to make a DVD compilation?), but the process will bring extreme joy to my geekheart!  I have about 7 vhs tapes set on SLP (so, 6 hours of music per tape--if only I had had the foresight to set them at higher quality, as I imagine some of them are pretty degraded at this point) filled to capacity with music videos from the mid-'90s to early '00s.  I will uncover many memories...thank the gods that I had these tapes safe in a box under my bed when the tornado hit!

This is meandering weirdness and I'm not sure what I'm saying except that combing through my tortured valuables is not as grueling as I thought and I am incredibly grateful that I still have a lot of my mixtapes given me by others, my yearbooks covered in scrawling humor by Christine Ohara Hale, my vhs music video mixes, and even more treasures yet uncovered.  My life is starting to feel like my own again almost a year later and that is so incredibly valuable, I can't even tell you.  I love our new house and I love all of the things that I have painstakingly saved from that devastating wind.  It really makes every little thing mean so much more when it has survived such a treacherous fate.

I suppose I am feeling appreciative today.  It's been a great Saturday.  If you are one of the many that still have tornado-things to revive, spend an hour and you'll see that it's not as bad as it was right after.  Odds are, your emotions have calmed and cleaning the crap is not quite as exhausting as it was last spring/summer.  Taking control, even if it's just to throw that shit AWAY, feels so good.

Happy 5th of May everyone...may you all be pleasantly buzzed on tequila right now!

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