So this morning I needed to address a couple of birthday cards or more specifically the envelopes that would be holding the cards securely until their arrival at their destination, so I sat at the table with the cards and their respective envelopes, a ball point pen that lacks a cap and is not one of those click the end to make the nib appear pens but the cap disappeared long ago under the stove perhaps or wherever pen caps go to escape the never-ending boredom of being removed and then replaced on the end of a pen, Christmas stamps because apparently the Post Office ordered too many and now they like to pass them off on unsuspecting customers though they did ask me if I minded getting Christmas stamps in March and clearly it was not a problem for me, return address labels because my time is much too valuable to scrawl my address by hand onto the envelope when I can just put one of those free address labels that charities are forever sending my way onto said envelope, and my faithful tattered address book which really isn’t that tattered but a couple of the pages are loose and faithful may not be an accurate adjective for an inanimate object but at least it didn’t run away with the pen cap and yes, I do realize that the pen cap is also inanimate so it did not run away but it very easily could have rolled away thus giving the illusion of movement to an otherwise inanimate object so I stand by my original description of the pen cap on the roll from its boring life of servitude protecting the pen nib from whatever disasters befall pen nibs when they are left uncovered for prolonged periods of time. With my previous sentence and yes it is one glorious run-on sentence containing exactly 300 words, I just may have glimpsed Gravity’s Rainbow run-on sentence nirvana though without the National Book Award but I’m sure that prize will be awarded to someone, just not me because I haven’t written a book.
Back to the subject at hand, which was addressing envelopes by writing on them rather than speaking to them which meant I needed to consult my address book for the needed addresses although one of the addresses I know by heart and yet I always check to make sure I really am remembering it correctly and indeed, once again I remembered it correctly. But in the course of checking addresses and flipping pages in the address book I realized that there were quite a few addresses for people I haven’t been in contact with for years, nay decades. (Nay is one of my new favorite words but that’s because I watched A Knight’s Tale over the weekend and nay is on my brain.)
So in keeping with my desire to embrace a minimalist lifestyle and shed the detritus (I know I used this word the other day and said I rarely had the opportunity to use it so it is quite astounding that I found it necessary to use it again when I could have used flotsam instead), I went about the process of removing names and addresses of those I once knew but now couldn’t pick out in a crowd or even in a small room with only a few people in it, probably, though I am pretty good with faces. I began with the eraser on a pencil which required me to look for a pencil with an eraser, but once said eraser-topped pencil was in hand, I began rubbing out all evidence of people I once worked with – so long Judith, farewell Shelby, adios Paul, met in various journeys to Montana – hasta la vista Chester, and Africa – toodles Pat.
Then I realized there was too much erasing for one small eraser-topped pencil to handle so I extracted a rubber (that’s an eraser for those of you who haven’t spent any time in places where they call erasers rubbers) from a desk drawer and continued with the rubbing pleasure. Names and addresses of old lovers (Jeff, Paul, Mike, Rich) and confidantes (Susan, Nina, Hank) became little bits of rubber dandruff on the table. There were others that joined the pile of rubber dandruff on the table until finally I was left with just the names and addresses of those I hold most dear or still think I may someday need to contact.
I felt lighter even though pencil scrawled names and addresses weigh nothing so erasing them didn’t impact my weight. Then I brushed all of the rubber dandruff bits from the table onto the floor because I’ll probably vacuum later.
The moral of this story is always use pencil when writing names and addresses in your address book because people move. Sometimes they move across town or to another state or even out of your life. My mother taught me that – the always use pencil in an address book thing, the people moving out of my life thing I had to learn on my own.