The Thousand

Dear J—

Last night they caught a mountain lion in San Mateo; I’d noticed the place where I usually turn off to get figgy from her after-school care (9th and Palm) was blocked off and didn’t think to ask or search why, but my folks called up and asked me how it was. I think it might have freaked her out a little to know there was a polecat running around; indeed, that even here in what I think of as a highly urbanized core these things can happen. So that’s our excitement for the week, already spent on a Monday and what are you going to do now?

I’m getting to the point where it’s not enough, any more, not enough to be thrilled or excited or bored by all the things we’re supposed to be thrilled by, so perhaps it’s a question of adjusting expectations and not getting things crossed up. Perhaps it’s too easy to get new things and that’s why we’re not thrilled with them. Perhaps we need a break, despite the boy asking for something special every time I see him lately. Can I get a witness? If there’s no clearly defined need – like, perhaps, a new fencepost to prop up the sagging, rotting one: as theVet puts it, oh, the joys of home ownership – then why aren’t we saving that money instead? You get wrapped up in shopping and the fact that you don’t need a thing never enters the equation.

This then is the death by a thousand cuts; if it’s moderately useful or has marginal utility, then of course we’ve kept it; there’s enough room to put it right … over … there. And at the same time, why? Why, indeed. I’m not advocating that all your stuff is some sort of encumbrance but think about what you had to do when you were getting ready to move, and that perpetual ready-to-move feeling was descending on you like a doom. That’s life and no kidding, too; we have to winnow down the amount of kipple that builds up before there’s an extra thousand pounds of stuff in boxes you haven’t opened in years going on the truck.

Mike

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