Yesterday Jeremy and I were sitting on our couch and facing the door to our apartment, and it occurred to me just how much of our life was currently represented by the debris in our entryway. Since yesterday, even more life has happened, making our entry way admittedly messy, but authentically so. Did I want to clean before photographing? Desperately! But that would have negated the time spent (or lack of time spent) flinging our coats off and casting off our boots because our radiator is hyperactive. It would have fed into the social media perfection machine. To clean would be to edit, to cover up the life that hides in the small moments. And my title promises that this is unfiltered, and it’s not clean either.
Here it is, in all its messy glory. It tells the story of us in 2016.
The door is an artifact of Valentine’s Day, a reminder to us both about all the happy, and sometimes hard memories we’ve shared as a couple. The heart, was, at one point, more heartlike, but individual stickies keep falling to the floor and reminding us of memories as we return them to the heart amalgam on the door (Lord of the Rings Marathons in our first basement apartment until 2 AM, the day Jeremy surprised me with Hufflepuff at work, spontaneous trips into the mountains to see the changing leaves when we really should be doing work instead, summers we spent bickering but came back stronger as a couple because of it).
There’s piles of coats all over, so we can adjust to the February outside. About twice a week we take all of our coats and neatly hang them in the closet, only to take them out several hours later when it’s time to relieve the dog. Long walk=2 coats. Wet walk=dog boots and a jacket that Maeby hates (in the second shelf down, the green plaid).
The bookshelf also contains our Harry Potter collection (our one true shared interest), and currently a mug filled with straws for a Harry Potter party we co-hosted last week but haven’t cleaned up yet because we haven’t put any critical thinking into how we’d like to store them now that they’re out of their original box. And, if you look close, you can see nail polish from the 300th time I tried to stop biting my nails.
There’s Jeremy’s augmented reality books, and my school books, and a puzzle with us and Hufflepuff and a whole portion of the shelf for dog supplies. And there’s papers to grade on the floor, because there’s always papers to grade on the floor. And there are socks drying by the radiator on the floor because it felt like a romantic, old-timey thing to do–drying socks by the radiator.
And there’s Maeby, of course, because lately she’s my satellite, and where I go, she goes. Needy little dweeb.
And then there’s my desk. A playbill from a play we saw for Valentine’s Day, that I am keeping in case I remember to paste it in my journal one day. My desk is filled with colored pencils and a half-done adult coloring page and half-relieved anxiety. And behind my colored pencils–the source of my anxiety: My To Do List.
Seeing as “Clean the apartment” is on my to do list, I thought I’d feel inspired to clean just at this present moment. But more so, I feel inspired to remember.
I like the poetry of coming home through a tangled mess of us.