Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The basement belonging accelerator

All of my clothes, belongings, random items etc. have been in the basement of a hundred year old house for more than a year now. Big changes and shifts in our living arrangements on the estate have been presented to us via the owner, Bill. Most of us have to move off. This includes Skip, the man who lives under a boulder painted gold. It is Skip's generosity which allows me to surf so much because I have use of his Toyota, the mellow yellow mule of the auto world. Today, I learned that E and Devin will be moving their stuff into the basement as well. Bill gave me a call to let me know of the latest material item movements and to request my help because "my stuff takes up most of the room in the basement". Alas, this is a mighty exaggeration. My things are neatly tucked, out of the way and covered with sheets. When I went down there today to pack for a trip to San Diego -(The time keeps getting pushed back. I plan on giving a live audio narration when this epic journey begins.)- I calculated that the actual usable percentage of space that my stuff takes up is less than 10 percent. There are stacks of blue Rubbermaid containers on the top of the basement steps and a score or two of cardboard boxes of various sizes on the brick porch waiting to be moved into the basement of chaos by - guess who? You got it! That would have been me having to move around some one else's junk, putting it in the basement already clogged with cases and cases of wine, beds, futons, paintings and all kinds of things from kid's toys to pool filters.

The question I have found myself asking is: what am I work trading for every month? What am I renting? [Answer]: I am renting an abstract concept and the ability to store my belongings in the basement. The abstract concept is that I can sleep in whatever space is available. The reality is that we have been vacation renting all of the spaces every weekend for the past several months.

My lifestyle of having many different places to sleep makes the whole wheel spin. Also, the Skip mobile makes it much easier because the only thing I own with an engine is my CBR 900 motorcycle, one of the fastest bikes in town but not able to carry much.

This attempt to concentrate all the belongings of three of us is obviously a ploy to create pressure on Devin and I. When I saw Bill I said: "Hey, you know, my stuff is all neat and out of the way. To be honest, I don't know how you are going to fit E and Devin's stuff down there. There's no room."

"I know, that's why we got to get your stuff out of there."

I just smile because I have thought all this through and knew what was coming for once. "Well, I have already paid rent for October."

Bill's kind of taken aback by this: "You have?"

"Yeah, I worked it off already."


Anyway, he's more interested in my trip to San Diego. He's sitting on a big rock. Daryl is sitting on a big rock next to hime. They both keep asking how old she is. They are a little freaked out by our age difference.

"I feel guilty because I'm 14 years older than E... how old are you? how old is she?"

I just smile: "Numbers, age, they don't mean anything to me."

Daryl asks me how old she is too even though I just answered Bill. He can't believe it, he's kind of awed, humbled and proud of me at the same time.