In anticipation of moving out of my run-down little dump in March, I’m gradually getting rid of ‘stuff’. I loathe accumulating things. I’m the opposite of a hoarder. I like space, symmetry, and bare wooden floorboards. *Confession* I have lain in bed at night mapping out scenarios that involve, ‘if I had to move/leave in a hurry – how quickly could I pack – how easy would it be?’. That’s what a fear of being ‘trapped’ looks like, and that mindset comes with a whole slew of quirks and tics. It’s funny, I do like to settle in places, but I always need to know I can escape. Fuuuuuuuuuu, despite the whole ‘minimalist’ thing, I’ve still managed to acquire a lot of shit somehow…
In Australia, once a year, we have a kerbside collection. Basically, you put all the shit you don’t want/need anymore out on the kerb, and the local council come and pick it up and take it to the tip. It’s a good time to go out scavenging if you need anything ‘new’, people throw out some great stuff. Last year everything I put out on the kerb was taken. A lot of my furniture was salvaged from verge collections, or was handed down from housemates. I like having second-hand stuff; I like it for that eclectic look, and I like it for ethical and environmental reasons (not a fanatic though).
Years ago, I went to IKEA and spotted a great futon chair. I’d never been to IKEA before then and I was gobsmacked by it. I ended up buying one of the futon chairs and I used it as a comfy outdoor seat. For years I kept it immaculate; when it was about to rain I’d take the cushion inside and I washed its cover every month or so . Aaaaaanyway, of course the same flatmates that used my kitchen bench as a chopping board, stole one of my mattresses and burnt a saucepan shaped mark on the kitchen bench, also left my cushion outside in the rain and ruined it. The chair ended up becoming my scabby fucked up chair. Unfortunately, it became so tattered and sun-fucked that I had to ditch it. It wasn’t in good enough condition to sell or giveaway.
I also ditched two couches. One was an adorable Fred Lowen TESSA which I’d coveted for aaaaaaages, and finally bought on sale (second-hand). I kiiiiiind of loved it:. You know when you buy something you really want and then it’s a bit disappointing? I loved the design of the couch, and the brightness of its cushions, but It was a little unstable. The couch had dowelled butt joints that kept loosening, so before sitting on it, you had to whack everything into place. It would creak and crack and sway, and I was always a little wary that it’d collapse when I sat on it. Anyway, NQMB sat on it one day without wacking all the joints into place, and it cracked and split, and he shat himself, jumping up and yelling “it’s not my fault!” (funny how childhood familial violence affects you long into adulthood, huh?). We moved the TESSA out onto the front porch. I propped it up with bricks and it was useable. I’d sit on it when it was raining and watch the world go by. I had all the intentions of fixing it, or getting it fixed, but eventually the sun leached the varnish from the armrests and the bright blue colour from the cushions, and then the cushion tore and I… I just….. I felt guilty about ruining a beautiful piece of furniture, and it just sat there rotting away at me. Finally, the verge collection came about and I ditched it.
The other was a couch that originally belonged to NQMB, though it was probably 3rd or 4th hand by the time it got to him. It was a very familiar couch; I’d watched T.V on it, sweated through summers on it, drank white wine on it, had ‘talks’ on it, had major Red Dead Redemption all-night marathons on it, taught him how to masturbate me on it, and ate delicious meals on it. When he moved out of his unit and went to live overseas, I scored the couch. He had it steam-cleaned for me. It was an ugly, but functional and familiar, cosy beast. The problem is that because it was so solid and heavy, and the living room is so dark, that everything ends up sucked into dead-space. I’ve had a multitude of configurations in there, and nothing’s ever been quite right. It’s a very strange room. It’s beautiful, but strange. When I ditched the TESSA and the Ikea futon, I had nothing to sit on outside, and so I grabbed a piece of that lounge, carried it out, and then promptly spilt an entire cup of coffee all over it. ‘Nup’ I decided, ‘It’s time for this to go as well’.
I saw the truck come and eat those things up.