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Serious Reading


I moved to this rural community in 2004, bought the house in 2005 and foreclosed in 2012, but I never fully unpacked. It never felt like home because I never nested.
I had furniture in storage back East for years, waiting to finish installing the floors. Two weeks after the floors went in in late 2008 I rented out my house and rented a place in Tucson, weary of the limited social life in the country. When my tenants moved out and I moved back, I knew I was going to lose the house, so I did little settling.
The last place that felt like “home” was a house I rented back East from 1998 to 2003. Now, at least, I have everything together in one 10×20 storage unit in Arizona, having spent years selling and giving away my belongings. But finding the funds to pay that $140 monthly bill is very difficult under my current circumstances.

continued from “Why I Don’t Have a Pot or a Skillet”

I’d had the means for a couple years, since the last time I had a serious plan. In years prior to that I’d realized that planning suicide was a way to manage high anxiety. And that as long as I was planning it, I was still alive. Maybe not “safe,” but alive.

To date, all packing was done with an eye to what could be sold and what could be given away after I died. Until I realized I couldn’t wash the dishes, I figured anyone who wants kitchen stuff could have my kitchen stuff, so I should pack it well enough that it doesn’t get damaged getting moved to storage.

But now, agitated and hopeless, I decided the easiest route was appropriate. Toss them into boxes and throw them out.

I could have taken them out to the garage where I had an ongoing freebie giveaway. But I’d be embarrassed because it would be obvious I was throwing out the entire kitchen. Plus, I didn’t want anyone to suspect my motives.

So. Fast forward to ten weeks later. I’d spent five weeks at a discounted weekly rental, where I did not implement the suicide plan as I had intended. Hope springs eternal. I proposed to the owners that I caretake the other house on the rental property, and no decision had been made by the time I moved out. Then I spent another five weeks in the guest room of a woman I knew; I stayed there until she moved out.

I had never seriously considered the possibility of living in my car. It did not seem feasible, especially with two dogs. And I believed I wasn’t tough enough to be homeless. If I had thought it a viable alternative, I would have packed differently. I wish I had kept, or could find in storage, my sun hat, tent, ponchos, mud boots, whisk broom, spatula, skillets, pots and more.

That’s a lot of heavy background for why I went to the Salvation Army thrift shop looking for a pot and a skillet.

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