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This weekend, I

I even remembered to call my mother on Mother's Day.

There were a lot of reasons for doing this now. I need to have work done on the apartment. I am having a group of people over tonight (for the first time in almost four years). And I felt ready for what I might find.

This is the declutter I've been planning for a couple of months, since I emerged from the haze of giving up the City of New Orleans. I have reclaimed my space, which looks oddly spacious now, and which feels much more usable as well as much more mine.

I am not completely finished. I don't have a long-term solution for my desk clutter, and I need to get a service in to give the bathroom and kitchen a deep clean. There is a huge hole in the wall in the bathroom, made by workmen fixing a leak downstairs, and I need to have the rental agency send someone out to fix that up. There are still piles of papers in the front closet that need to be sorted, but at least they have a more appropriate home, where once they were piled on the floor.

I have looked at everything in my apartment, and I have cleaned, straightened, moved, or discarded almost of all of it. They are just things, and if every one of them got burned to ash, I would just get new things. But I like these things, and I got each one for a reason. I am now reacquainted with my things.

Deep in the walk-in closet, where I keep my clothes, there was a small square box. It was hidden beneath a long, hanging shoe holder, almost completely shrouded. It contained the receiving blanket in which my parents brought me, newly born, home from the hospital. And it was a frequent hiding place for the Wabash Cannonball during his last weeks.

The box is gone, the blanket is in the wash, and the Wabash Cannonball rests only in memory. Now my apartment holds no secrets.

May 13, 2002