There's always something bitter sweet about September. It's like a slow, wet, lingering kiss that seals the end of a perfect summer romance. Maybe it's because I've moved every September for as long as I can remember. These boxes and boxes that now occupy my living room are more than just belongings. They contain the wreckage of lives, jobs and relationships abandoned and conveniently forgotten until now.
As I sift through old photos, well-wishing cards and love notes, I wonder why I hang onto this baggage. Why am I so attached to mementos of people I no longer talk to and, for all intents and purposes, have forgotten I even knew? Maybe it just feels good to remember nice things about myself - I should really do it more often.
Every year my collection of keys surprises and mystifies me. Keys signify intimacy and access. They unlock doors to lives that I have penetrated, and yet here they are in a tangled heap at the bottom of this unmarked box, and I have no idea where they're from or whose doors they open.
And then there's the pressing and depressing reality of school, Frosh Week events that I've never enjoyed and yet, despite all these years, still feel obligated to attend. In the halls, during my first week of classes, I'm torn between the pleasure of seeing familiar faces and the awkwardness of having forgotten everyone's name.
I remember in high school when September was precipitated by a trip to Grand & Toy and my quest for the hippest set of school supplies. Nowadays, school gear is just filched office supplies from summer jobs. How I miss the free photocopies, faxes and long distance calls.
As I fumble with my router, printer and Internet connection that mysteriously no longer function, I curse the gods for their annual plague of technological difficulties.
I know myself: if I plug it in and it doesn't work, I can't fix it. I'm helpless against this calamity of cables, power bars and flashing green lights that intermittently flash red.
It fills me with panic, terror and hysteria every time.
While my friends are busy buying condos, getting married and raising children, I'm still standing in a lineup the length of the Nile at my local financial aid office, knowing my OSAP loan will never be enough.
Back at the apartment, it's hard to tell from the clutter of half-unpacked boxes if someone's moving in or out. I'm tempted to leave things as they are, but from so many years of moving, I know the transitory can quickly become home.