Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
I’ve been avoiding going to my storage space since August of 2010, when I moved (or “moved”) to Australia. I was convinced that the evidence of my former life would freak me out – I still think I’m more emotionally fragile than I actually am — and I was worried that I’d be gutted by the experience. I was more willing to go after I moved last month, but that’s not saying a lot; I wouldn’t have gone if my friend Susie hadn’t picked me up, pried me out, and brought me there.
I have very few memories of packing up and leaving, and I had only a vague idea of what I would find. I remembered that I’d decided to keep only what was essential, valuable or sentimental, but I was totally unprepared for how little I kept, and how I’d defined valuable, essential, and sentimental.
I didn’t keep my grandmother’s freshwater pearls, the Baccarat vase or my Finster angels, but I boxed, wrapped and stored a set of pastel sconces, a pineapple novelty lamp and a Day of the Dead mirror so ugly that Susie suggested that if I kept it, a good place to hang it would be in a closet. I didn’t bother to save any financial records, but I had every Pixies itinerary from 1990, 1991 and 1992, and a file folder full of Oasis-related correspondence. There was a maroon Dali-esque melting clock missing its hands, a ceramic sculpture I’d named Mr. Bunny missing its ears, and a crateful of mic flags and clipboards from my days at E!. The only furniture I stored was a collection of tables: an oak table, a bamboo table, and eight small tables made of white reclaimed wood. There was no bed, no couch, no clothing, no jewelry, and no records, but there were ten tables and a dozen boxes, two of which contained loud patterned dishes that I bought at Ross for $12.99 sometime in the ’80s. I did have it together enough to keep photos, letters, and postcards, but it may have been because they were stored in the same crate that I’d stored my 8th grade yearbook. (I’ve always been proud that I was voted “most involved” in junior high, even if what I was most involved in was the yearbook and I made up both the category and the results.)
Fortunately, and due largely to the presence of Susie, I was far more entertained by the contents of my storage space than I was traumatized by them. And, when I finally got up the courage to start working my way through the photos, the letters, and the postcards, I was mostly heartened and occasionally embarrassed, but never heartbroken or contrite. I realized five seconds after we opened the door that I was out of my mind when I moved, and that I need to stop beating myself up for it. I may have done some damage to my life, but it was because I was damaged at the time.
As for my possessions, or lack thereof, it’s all ok. I was a little extreme when I downsized but I kept what was most important: I have abundant reminders of the people I love, an incredible friend in Susie, and a lot of trade shots taken at Campanile and Spago.