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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

How to downsize and purge?

I’m not talking about an eating disorder, I’m talking about packing. How do I get rid of these things I’ve been moving from apartment to apartment for the last ten years? One box contains the negatives of photos from the summer in Iowa, my return to Argentina, letters from Colin Brady that he wrote me in 1999, the sand art that Katy Kohn’s parents gave us the summer she lived with us, the stud that I had my toungue pierced with in 1997, my NACURH bronze pin, the photo frame that Becca gave me when we lived together in Colorado.

There is a small hacksaw with extra blades, letters I never sent, the bad photos from vacation rolls of film, the christmas cards with a photo of me and Dr. Drew, the beads that were on a wish bracelet I wore in high school.

Seriously, these are the things that trigger my memory, so how do I put them in the trash? How will I tell my children stories without a beaded cuff bracelet that Debbi gave me or the series of photographs from my painful self portrait session in college?

One thing I keep finding are different attempts at a blueprint of the bedroom I had on Walton. I was trying to decide how everything would fit in there and I kept doing sketches. I’ve found two versions of this, bizarre. Also found the headshot that Joel Bruner took of me the night before I performed at Zanies in Old Town.

Some people will remember a certain set of bookshelves I’ve been dragging with me around the country for the last ten years. The $19.95 special at WalMart, I have moved them to every place I’ve lived since my first dorm room at MIllikin. I put them in the alley today along with the books I listed yesterday, 12 or so issues of Adbusters, and an odd collection of bassball hats.

But how do I get rid of the things that really mean something?

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