I hit my limit. Not hard, but like falling into molasses.
Being swallowed by thick, heavy blackness, each limb trapped, one by one, until I could barely move. Face just above surface, gulping breaths.
I stood at the door of my bedroom.
I do not let anyone in my bedroom. Nobody.
My roommates are banned from my bedroom. Lovers rarely see it.
It is chaos.
Clothes create a tide, sucking at my ankles, several layers deep. The dresser, most of the drawers pulled out, containing only the clothes I rarely wear.
There, the clear tote containing my tax files, piled under a box of things to take to the thrift store, and an evening gown that has fallen from it's hanger.
Here, a stack of airplane liquor bottles, left over from England, too precious to drink.
There, a stack of cookbooks, leaning against the wall, punctuated with reference books on medieval illumination.
Here, all my socks, dirty.
There, a cacophony of electrical wires and a thick layer of dust.
Here, that project I promised myself I'd finish.
There, a leaning tower of half-written letters and unused stationary.
And my bed.
When was the last time I changed the sheets?
The fat cat is watching me attentively from my pillow. She is shedding. She is shedding in my bed.
Crumpled kleenex. My address book and a fan of stamps. My laptop, half under a pillow. My hair brush. Hair pulled from my hair brush (why was I saving it? I can't remember anymore). Clean laundry, in the rough shape of a body on the other side of the bed.
I start with the garbage. I throw out ruthlessly, and don't recycle.
Next, the laundry. There is less than I imagined. I fold all the clean laundry, and glean out the summer clothes. I bag up the summer clothes and put them in the closet.
I hang the evening dress back up.
Stationary gets stacked a bit neater, the tower is straightened.
Books are sorted. Here for novels, there for reference. I make a mental note to sort through them and thin the piles. I do not need all these books.
I lived so much simpler in England, mostly out of necessity. Why do I feel the need to gather all these things now?
I separate out clothes that don't fit quite right, and put them in the box for the thrift store.
When I finally find the floor, it is pocked all over with stray change, glittering like stars.
All the coins go in a singing bowl on my bedside table.
I change the sheets.
I wash everything.
It is not perfect. Like the inside of my head, it is still messy, but it's better.
I am so tired, I go to bed unwashed.
I feel sticky in the clean sheets.