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When I packed up the boxes for the move, I touched every object. I opened cupboards, drawers, ran my hands to the back of shelves and closets, my fingertips grey with dust.

I put my hands on each book, dozens of clear-headed thumbtacks, wooden clothespins, plastic Legos. I held puzzle boxes, rubber spatulas, rakes, jumper cables. I touched clothes – shrunken wool socks, feather-light ballgowns, slippery underthings. I flipped through appliance manuals, postcards from Rome, photographs of children, distant relatives, landscapes that once meant something. I rifled through medicines, marveled at the array – opioids, anti-inflammatories, natural remedies. They clicked like maracas in their amber-colored bottles. I felt sticky spice jars, stiff hockey skates, every single electronic doo-dad – the white ones, the black ones, the ones with obvious functions, the ones I am sure I have never seen, or used.

I emptied the place of its items, its memories. I felt every single thing in the house, held it all in my hands -- weighing what to keep, and what to let go.


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