The List

by Bryan

The list of stuff I need to buy for my apartment is staggering. This is the first time I’ve been living by myself, so I lack many of the basic possessions of a household. A hammer, for instance. I didn’t have one of those until a couple months ago, and until about a month after I needed it (I’m good at putting things off). After years of buying things in the moment for the moment, it’s odd that I’m buying things that will belong to me, potentially, forever. I feel like I’m in high school again. It’s bizarre. At the same time, I’m wary of valuing my possessions too much. What I value now is motion. What the last couple days have taught me—or reminded me of, as this happens several times per year—is that I need to stay focused on working through things like, well, work blowouts. I didn’t end up going in to the office today, handling a minor early morning crisis that could have easily been avoided (by myself, but mostly the other party, if they had done their job in a timely manner) before spending the rest of the day “recovering.” This meant watching Capote, which I had DVR’ed off IFC, and drinking Green Tea until I ran out, which prompted a Trader Joe’s run at around 8 p.m. that finally got me up and moving for the day. I don’t like going to Trader Joe’s after work, and as such rarely go, but today the whole thing flowed very nicely and I just saved myself a bunch on lunch for the next week or so.

That motion eventually pushed me to the gym, where I had a workout the vigorousness of which I haven’t had in years. Honestly, I started thinking of Sarah Palin. I thought: If she is inspired to be her dumb idiot self and it works that well for her and she gets her inspiration from running, why am I half-assing it here? And soon enough, I was flying around a fake track conscious of the scowl on my face. The whole thing was cathartic. I wonder if it’s what my friend Ravi has gone through in the last couple years, as he’s transformed himself from a beer-guzzler into a lithe semi-triathalete who beat the tar out of me in a four mile race last month. I’ve committed to three races with him this year. I have to do better, especially at $40 or so a race. You get fun shirts though.

Anyhow one thing I need to buy is a bedframe, and about $200 worth of other stuff for my bed. And a new comforter, because mine leaks fluff (which has a nasty way of infesting the apartment). So I’ve got all the stuff here (on the bed from which I’m typing), and then you move onto the bedside table, which doesn’t exist and probably should, and you put it on the list… and it reminds me of an old joke a friend used to make about Chicago construction. As soon as they were done with all of it, he said, it would be time to start again. The list never ends.

Also on the list would be writing something eloquent about Haiti, but I don’t know what to say.