Think about your bedroom and tell me: What's the first thing you'd pack if you had to leave, right now?
Header image courtesy of Carter Lodwick and Ian Endsley.
I wonder what I will remember when, in some months, I think of turn follow's Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment. Probably the sense of heat, the way the box fan hums on the windowsill, the fluid motion of the camera as our character gets up off the bed where they'd been lying. It is a hot summer, and there is an apartment to be packed up. Most of it is gone already. Two big boxes and a shoebox left to fill. What remains is either the detritus left for last, or the objects so precious that they require extra attention. Two big boxes and a shoebox. Let's start.
Probably best to begin with the closet. It's an enclosed space, there'll be an easy sense of satisfaction that comes with clearing it out. The pair of hiking boots should fit in the big box—I'd rather save the shoebox for little extras. I tuck them neatly into the corner of the cardboard. A toilet plunger. Should I take this with me? I can probably buy a plunger in the new place, the world's full of places you can buy toilet plungers, but I figure I should move it out of the closet. The handle comes off in my hand, and, faced with the prospect of leaving two broken components of a toilet plunger in my old apartment, I pack it sheepishly.
The anglepoise lamp should go in. I'll put the fairy lights in the shoebox so I can put them up in the new place more easily when I arrive. It's so important to get the light right, if you can.
Three mugs, got to keep those. A little succulent. A rack of CDs.
There is a satisfaction that comes with packing. To look at a cluttered room and an empty box, and then through a process as mechanical as it is discerning, reduce one into the other. You can lift it up and feel the weight of a room in your hand, and load it into the back of your friend's car, and there it is, you've done it. You are no longer that apartment any more.
Of course, there is an obvious sadness in that. We are no longer our previous apartments, just as we are no longer exactly the people we were when we lived there. This is a game as much about this feeling as it is about packing; Who will we be when we unpack these objects again? What will we think of ourselves?
So strange. In the two hour car journey from my old apartment to the new one, I quite forgot I owned this anglepoise lamp. Was it always this shade of green?
You can download Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment for free here.