In lieu of scissors, which seem to disappear the moment I let them out of my hands, I've been using cracked CD cases and, in one case, a CD, to break off my packing tape. Yes, I have a handheld dispenser but that too often vanishes from my sight amidst the chaos that is packing up the last 13 years of my life. One particular CD had cracked in a spectacular way--in half, and then splintered in all sorts of ways. CDs, in case you're wondering, are not great tools for ripping tape, but will do in a pinch.
I wish I had a photo of that one, which later fully broke apart in two, but hopefully my description is enough to let you know that when I looked at the other night, it seemed a perfect metaphor for my life, which feels cracked and splintered and in limbo right now as I try to uproot myself and start a new life. I have a scratch on my wrist and bruises on my leg and arms and left shoulder seems to have developed a permanent crick. I have stopped counting how many boxes I've packed and am now wondering if the 75 boxes I've purchased from Uline are enough. I've had other mishaps which I've written about in an essay that I hope I will get to share soon. But mostly what I wanted to say is that I think sometimes it's good to be broken, cracked, destroyed, in order to rebuild. We haven't even started living together yet and already I see the tensions, our different approaches to life, his more practical, mine more impulsive. I've had to concede, despite myself, that my boyfriend was right that last weekend was a bad time to take a trip to Austin, much as I wanted to (thank you, JetBlue, for being such an awesome airline and my absolute favorite, and only charging $100 to cancel a flight the day before). More than I hated canceling that trip, I hated admitting to being wrong, but now that each day is one of my last in New York, I know I have to focus on the important things.
This process is daunting, and lonely. I will likely hire someone to help me, but even that feels like admitting defeat. There are so many things I'd do differently but those would require me to be a different person, and, much to my chagrin, I'm just me, with my good points and bad points. I joke about showing up with nothing, canceling the movers, tossing it all, and there is a part of me that loves that fantasy, that wishes I were that person who could live on nothing, live with nothing, but I am too vain or materialistic or nerdy to live without clothes and shoes and books. Those are the bulk of my belongings, and though I'm tossing most magazines, all those old issues of Index and Talk and Jane and George are ones I want to paw through. I find gems like an interview with A.M. Homes about a book I've never read that I then find on a bookcase. I read that she was inspired to write a whole book based on a conversation she overheard at Dean & DeLuca and that gives me some renewed hope for myself.
There is a part of me, a pretty large part, that hates being cracked. I want to be whole, together, perfect. I want to look and feel and be someone who knows what she's doing and where she's going, who doesn't have moments of doubt, who doesn't get tripped up with nostalgia by the most minute reminders. I want to be a girl who carries the flimsiest of purses, who doesn't have split ends or chipped nails or chapped lips. I want to always have a pen at the ready and never have my iPhone battery die. I want to have neatly organized files like I did once upon a time, all labeled and filled with the right papers, not with random ones just shoved any which way. But I also know that wanting to be a certain way is a useless emotion. You do it, or you don't, and each one serves a purpose. I don't want to be cracked, but I am, and this move is part of my efforts to uncrack myself, to figure out how to be more whole, more holistic, to take deeper breaths, literally and figuratively. Probably the thing that scares me most, the thing I hate most about being in a relationship, is having to show someone my cracks, up close, where there's no hiding them or glossing over them or pretending they don't exist. I write about my cracks so often in part as a way to go on the offensive, to say, in the words of Heavens to Betsy, i'm just fucked up and so are you. There isn't Hello Kitty tape to put people back together, but that's okay. I know that quest for being completely together is a myth, and that probably in my new home I'll discover new kinds of cracks in my armor. I'm ready--or at least, as ready as I'll ever be. 25 days. I'm counting.