Because I've moved several times in the last ten years, I don't unpack all my boxes; instead I store them in the bedroom closets, the pantry, the coat closet--pretty much any space with a door that can hide the whole mess. But I figured, last night, that if I hadn't used something in the three years I've lived here, I probably won't ever use it, so I might as well get rid of it.
I decided to start right away. At 11:30. P.M.
I began in the office/study/second bedroom.
There really was a bunch of JUNK in some of those boxes, and I'd gotten into the habit of just throwing stuff I didn't want to deal with into the closet. Receipts, junk mail, empty bottles, batteries, my social security card, bath salts, student papers, forms, plastic bags; just a whole bunch of clutter. I piled about seven crap-filled boxes at the top of the stairs so I could get up in the morning and have it ready to put in the car and take to the landfill. I finished up around 2:30 a.m. and went to bed.
Cut to early morning, when Lyndie started her morning concerto in the hallway. This time, though, she added a bass line by pawing at the top lip of one of the boxes.
I raised my head without opening my eyes. "SHHH," I grunted in her general direction, then fell back onto the pillow and burrowed in.
"Lyndie," I yelled. "That is ENOUGH!" I turned over and pulled the covers over my head.
I jerked my head up just in time to see one of the box towers tumble. I caught the tail end of a Lyndie-blur out of the corner of my eye as she bolted toward the bedroom closet. I exhaled noisily and stomped toward the stairs. A trail of trash was settling onto the steps; an empty box lay upside down at the bottom of the staircase.
I turned, because I was not about to deal with that at this hour in the morning. Instead, I marched to the closet and flung back the hanging clothes. Lyndie glanced up in surprise, trying to look as though she had just woken up.
Oh, hey, Mom, what's up? Gosh, I sure had a good night's sleep. I must have been in here for, like, eight hours. You sure look nice today. I really like that cowlick; it suits your face. Have I told you how much I love you?
I reached in and hauled her towards me. She resisted.
Hey, what're you doing? I've just been sitting here minding my own business. Boxes? What boxes? I haven't seen any boxes, have you seen any boxes? Hey, that hurts! Why're you pullin' so hard? No, I don't wanna go with you! Ouch! Hey, put me down! ATTICA! ATTICA!
I hugged her to me, but not in an affectionate way, and stomped back to the bed. Holding Lyndie tightly, I settled against the pillows and started yanking the sheets and blankets up around my armpits. I turned and looked at the clock on the nightstand.
I turned her face towards mine and drew my mouth into a straight line and gave her this number: "mmm mmm MMMMMMMMMM mmm MMMMMM," glaring at her for a full thirty seconds before letting her go. As she prepared to jump to the floor, she turned back and flashed her teeth, grinning smugly.
"That's just MEAN," I hissed as she dropped to the floor and picked her way through the fallen boxes and headed down the stairs, where she resumed her rhythmic vocal performance with a triumphant smirk at the ceiling.