An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Location: Philippines

Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

22 May 2007

Two-year baggage

Since I bought my car over two years ago, it has become a repository for all sorts of junk. There is a giant plastic waterproof canister in the trunk which used to hold all my school books and papers during the time that I was enrolled full time at the University of the Philippines which required me to be there almost every day for classes, library work, and other related errands. When my academic load at the UP eased up, the canister began to be filled with work-related books and files, and when my Boss had the bright idea to include me in some of the troops' activities at the PNP-Special Action Force, into the canister went clothes, shoes, jackets, and toiletries, making me ready for an instant overnight stay at either of the two SAF camps.

Now all of these activities had petered out, but the accumulated junk kept attracting more and more junk to itself, like some filthy magnet slowly growing in size, forming a giant monster that will one day eat me up. So early one morning, ready to go back to work after a three-week rest, I hauled the plastic canister from the trunk of my car and sorted through the two-year excess baggage.

I found a pair of jeans, bulging file folders from a project I had five years ago, a dusty crocheted throw, grimy generic compact discs with data written onto them which I am understandably not interested to know, a free desk calendar from Blessings of the UP Shopping Center from 2005, Mongol pencils of various length, a blue sock, a petrified sugared donut inside a small plastic bag, an assortment of empty and half-empty plastic water bottles, deformed plastic ring binders, strofoam cups, several old books I didn't particularly like, and more odds and ends, mostly just trash. The entire pile must have weighed over 20 lbs.

I did not stop there. I asked a manservant to clean out the inside of my car and he found a pair of old pink rubber slippers, small unopened bags of Choc-Nut which must have fallen under the seats and thus have been given up for lost, still more pencils and water bottles and an assortment of scratch paper, gas receips, toll receipts, flyers, brochures, a black sock, an unidentified electronic charger, and dead cockroaches in various stages of decomposing, all of which were possibly killed by eating some kind of poisonous mold that was growing on the rotting bits and pieces of food the manservant also found in the car: french fries, a last bite of cheeseburger, a small piece of what looked like ham. Also found were several hairclips, a hairnet which I do not remember ever owning, a small fabric pouch which I also remember not owning, a pair of neon green scissors with one handle broken, a pirated dvd of what looked like "Click" but which was labeled "The Amazing Universal Remote Control," and a plastic comb, all of which I particularly remember not owning. It could be that my car, at some point in time, had become a repository of other people's junk as well, which just convinced me even more that accumulated junk attacts still more junk, and not only the junk belonging to me. My car has become the black hole for the discards of the country. It was unbelievable. All together, the junk found in my car could easily fill up to two sacks worth of trash.

And to think that I have been carrying them all around inside my car for two years! No wonder I felt weighed down. No wonder I had to take a three-week break from the rest of the world. I was carrying around rotting things, old things, things I did not need, things I should have thrown away a long time ago.

I sorted through all that junk, and with glee I threw away the trash, threw away the filthy plastic canister, threw away all that was weighing me down. Out went the old, the dirty, the un-needed, the ones that brought back bad memories, practically everything I found. How long do we have to hold on to things that we have outgrown? How many things do we still hold on to that we are better off living without? How long until we decide to start forgetting? How to draw the line between good-natured sentimentality and a refusal to let go? Until when should we put off cleaning up?

I threw everything away. I decided that I don't want to look back because I don't have to look back. Everything -- the weddings I have attended, the new friends I have made, the kilometers I have driven, the money I have spent, the phone numbers I have been given, the water I have drunk, the garments that I have worn, and all the rest -- will always be present in me. I have the memories; I don't need the objects. I already hold the past two years deeply ingrained in my heart. And in there, nothing is dirty, nothing is old, nothing is lost.


Blogger || manokchicken || said...

the "evangelista" piece was great.

but this is really something - something that i need. thanks for your thoughts.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Glad to hear that. Thanks for the visit!

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my gulay! your man must really love you, well beyond your junk.

12:50 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Mwehehe. True.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous mellany said...

hi annie, nice thoughts.

7:30 AM  

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