There’s something inherently very sad about looking around and seeing all of your belongings packed away into brown boxes scattered about a room. “Kitchen,” “Bedroom,” “Bathroom” – these broad terms define an interior that’s an amalgamation of things that are your life. You walk between this maze of anonymous boxes, walls so bare that your voice echoes in the room, and think, “is this it? Is this what I have to show for 27 years of living?” And these things start to feel very trivial and small in the fact that you can cart them around from place to place, set them up on a shelf, and pretend that you’re a more well-defined person with them as a representation of yourself. Moving’s been giving me a lot of time to brood, clearly.
And while I have a strong attachment to my things, my cookbooks (so many cookbooks), my kitchen appliances, my art, and my knickknacks, tchotchkes, and other bits of memorabilia, I do wonder how I’d fare if I just got rid of it all. Would I feel just as secure about who I am if I could fit everything I need into one suitcase and roam nomadically. Or would haphazardly throwing out these mementos cause me to sink into a pit of despair? Regardless, I’ve kept most stuff for the time being and managed to pack it all into a trailer, take it three miles down the road, and drop it off somewhere new.
I went back to my old apartment the other day to pick up the stragglers of my things. This 600 square foot space, once filled with my "life" now stood in front of me, barren and empty, sadly showing the dust clumps that gathered behind furniture over the past 18 months. So I did what any person in the throes of change and confusion do, I called my mom and cried. She sat silent on the other end, listening to my sobs echoing over her car speakers while driving home and when the tears subsided, she reminded my that this was a good change, one that would keep be from going broke, and I knew she was right.
I drove in silence that evening to my new home. My roommates were around and we had a kitchen dance party while I vacuumed out the drawer under the oven and they watched in SHOCK as I unpacked one strange and unnecessary kitchen appliance after another. And when they went to bed as I started on probably the 8th box or so of stuff, they said goodnight and I remembered how nice it is to have people around, the comfort that human presence exudes.
I'm nearly unpacked now and this townhouse, now filled with my mounds and mounds of (organized) stuff, somehow gives off a cozier vibe than my little box of an apartment. Maybe I don't need these things, maybe some are frivolous and extraneous, but I can't deny, they do feel like home. And so as the sun sets over our little back yard and leaks in through the windows in golden beams, I settle down with a mezcal negroni and take it all in. I think I'll like it here.
Makes 1 drink
1 oz. Mezcal Joven
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1 oz. Campari
Combine all 3 ingredients in a large glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with orange peel…I didn’t, because I didn’t have oranges…