moving out blues
Tuesday, August 8 2000
This morning Kim was evidently agitated by the fact that today was the day she'd be moving out. She was all wrapped up in my forum, telling people off one by one in the most un-net-savvy Elly's Slice of Cyberpie fashion imaginable, with a fuck off here and an eat shit there. If I wasn't so familiar with such behavior, it would have been embarrassing. But it wasn't. All that shit ends today.
Then, out of nowhere, Kim raked the contents of her desk onto the floor with an enormous crash: the laptop computer, printer, scanner, 900 MHz cordless phone, a vase of flowers and a clock radio. The phone started beeping inanely at an unexpectedly high volume. To me, this just sort of summed up what I hated about living with Kim: her irrational lashing-out behavior and her casual disregard for the value of things. Then I noticed that the vase of flower water had emptied its liquid contents into the scanner, and water was running around on the inside, beneath the glass, sullying the optics. That scanner was one of the very few material items that I actually bought during the two year frame I witnessed of Kim's life-long spending spree.
Here's how the afternoon went, expressed as it happened, in the endless present that I was experiencing:
Lunchtime, and I'm weak with hunger and lingering flu.
So I bike lethargically to a liquor store on Santa Monica Blvd. to buy Haagen Das Icecream - all that I crave - for lunch. The thought of greasy food and meat isn't a pleasant one.
A tattooed customer guy in the liquor store asks me "You have arthritis already, bro?" about my handmade copper bracelets. I explain that perhaps they're the reason I don't. "Later, bro!" he says as he disappears.
I have no spoon, so I'm forced to go home.
At my place, Robert (formerly of the Dr. Susan Block Gallery) is helping Kim pack up her shit.
Sophie is anxious and seeks my comfort. We share my strawberry icecream.
Kim and Robert are blaring Fu Fighters' "My Hero"
"Take your pictures down and shake it out"
So I offer Kim any painting she wants except Felis Diabolica because I always regretted not giving Leslie Montalto a painting before we broke up.
I can't look in Kim's face, I feel an overwhelming wave of sadness carrying me away.
I ride my bike back to work with tears streaming down my face. The reality is setting in.
And here's how the rest of the day went:By the time I came home in the evening, a big moving truck was parked out front and a couple of supposedly non-marijuana-stealing Mexicans were helping Kim and Robert load it up with pretty much everything in the house Kim and I had shared. I hadn't really thought about it, but it turns out that absolutely everything I used in my life for the past two years (with the exception of my computer and other hi-tech gear) actually belonged to Kim. I could definitely argue that I subsidized Kim's lifestyle the whole time we lived in San Diego by paying all of the rent while the bills she paid came to only half as much - but her math was conveniently shitty and apparently she's someone revengeful at this point. When I pointed out how little she was leaving me, all she would say was that I was screwing her real good and that I had no reason to complain.
Still, when she was gone, all I could do was pace around in my empty house and sob. It wasn't so much because I was upset about anything that had happened to bring me to this point. It was more the sort of sobbing someone does when a momentous occasion comes through his life, like a marriage or sending the kids off to college. The echoes, both from the vacant walls and the barren hardwood floors, were absolutely horrible.
I went around the house and did an appraisal of the things that were of dubious ownership (or definitely Kim's) that she had, for one reason or another, left behind:
- two ceramic gargoyles
- two small red spherical candles
- one faux bamboo midmodern floor lamp
- one small red velvet couch
- a crappy old ghetto blaster with a bent antenna and an unreliable CD player (but no power cord)
- one cute picture of me and Sophie
- a mailer promoting a Staunton art show, featuring a picture of my brother
- one battery-powered electric drill and bits
- contents of two generations of junk drawers (one of them boxes)
- one cooking pot
- two coffee cups
- one spoon (metal)
- one chopstick (wood)
- one half bottle of red wine
- several frozen sausages
- one nearly-full bag of ice
- nifty modern ice tray
- several garden burgers
- several large containers of bottled water as well as many small sports bottles (but no dispenser)
- one ballpoint pen
- assorted spare change
- one bottle of liquid hand soap
- one plastic-coated wicker cup containing a floral arrangement
- several videotapes (but no VCR)
- one wicker basket
- several used sponges
- one hand saw
- ten tall paraffin candles
- the Gypsy Staff (that handmade blood-spattered thing which Kim bought from an indigent - it possibly cursed our house)
- one marble hot plate
- expensive designer hair shampoo
- expensive hair conditioner
- a half-used 1 oz. tube of Colgate toothpaste
- two swivel chairs
- a set of custom-cut but fairly unnecessary wooden Venetian blinds (which supposedly cost Kim $500)
- the Book of Kim and Gus - a sort of family album/scrap book containing bits of text hand-written by Kim and illustrated with photos from our two years together. She'd started work on it a long time ago and had finally gotten around to finishing it today. As I turned the pages, I couldn't help myself. I was crying like a baby all over again.
I'm guessing that now that I'm free and am finally allowed to dumpsterdive the replacements to all the things I've just lost (like, for example, a bed), I can finally get back in touch with my long-repressed Taurus Rising nature. It always killed me to repeatedly see Kim seeking out the most expensive possible solution for our every slightest need. Those days are mercifully over. All the furniture I get for this empty house will be free and will be found close enough to carry home (though I might have to modify a shopping cart to help me).
As I bathed for the first time in my big empty house, I started to actually come to terms with my freedom. It felt as though I'd finally graduated.
The little red velvet couch that Kim grudgingly left for me proved impossible to sleep on, and I eventually went upstairs and made a rat's nest out of some clothes Kim had abandoned in a closet. The key to making a mattress out of assorted clothes, I discovered, is to lay them out in layers. Otherwise the knots will sneak up on you and make you miserable. I found myself thinking, "You know, for all her talk about generosity and giving things away, Kim didn't leave me with much. She's even more of a materialist bitch than I thought."
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