Sunday, November 8, 2009

i unpack my books first

Messy Room by Shel Silverstein

Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
His underwear is hanging on the lamp.
His raincoat is there in the overstuffed chair,
And the chair is becoming quite mucky and damp.
His workbook is wedged in the window,
His sweater's been thrown on the floor.
His scarf and one ski are beneath the TV,
And his pants have been carelessly hung on the door.
His books are all jammed in the closet,
His vest has been left in the hall.
A lizard named Ed is asleep in his bed,

And his smelly old sock has been stuck to the wall.
Whosever room this is should be ashamed!
Donald or Robert or Willie or--
Huh? You say it's mine? Oh, dear,
I knew it looked familiar!

I unpack my books first. I crack open the oversized boxes and they release a plume of perspiration seducing the brow. I inhale the liquored musk, releasing them from their cardboard prison. This projection of liberation lingering in the air sends me into the swirl of relief; I organize and stack them on the shelves. My books were the first things packed; their puzzle perfect spines slipped easiest into a box and gave this traveler a sense of order where the mind felt messy. Now, they are the first to greet the new shell still soft, pink and raw. Fiction, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, and reference. Photography and Biography. Spirituality & Pornography lingers somewhere in between it all. I stack them in order of easiest reference for my mind. Harry Potter, never read but all first editions found in the basement of a thrift store while traveling, have their own shelf. I dreamt I would find them and when I did I knew to buy them, but I haven’t dreamt the dream to read them, so they wait. What an odd shelf of understanding then, my Harry Potter collection.

Poetry tambien! Reigns high, it grows from its own shelf into another. I am remembering my childhood and how I flipped through my Shel Silverstein over and over again. How I was instantly won over by the banter of the soul in words. Rumi came later to point out this relationship with the beloved and I knew I’d always be a sucker for poetic prose.

I imagine the day when all things are in their place & I can toss a random book on the bed to read. I miss my dance of clutter as I begin to unpack my life; I want to step over the pile of clothes left on the floor rather then all these boxes. It takes effort to get there, I suppose, so I unpack my books first.


the walking man said...

Odd...Just this morning I was remembering something an old roommate told me more than thirty years ago..."The stereo is always the last thing packed and the first thing unpacked."

The real question long did it take you to unpack the books? How many "let me just take a quick peek inside this old friend" breaks were there?

GoGo said...

A few peaks in a few hours. :). Sometimes I had to leave it at fan the book near the nose and breathing them in. :)


Anonymous said...

One of the many reasons why I love/d you.


GoGo said...

Thanks, lady. :).