if you think you've got your sh*$ together, check under your frige
I moved out of our apartment last weekend and went back over tonight to help Em clean it out for when she finishes moving out tomorrow. We had been renting our refrigerator and washer/dryer from a (heinous, horrible, should-be-reported-to-the-Better-Business-Bureau) rental company who was scheduled to pick up our appliances, oh 6 days ago, and decided to show up today shortly before I arrived. They removed the frige and the washer/dryer and GREAT HEAVENS ABOVE, you would NOT believe the carnage left wallowing in the footpirnts of our appliances.
Bearing in mind that we had two cats for awhile, one of which sucked in every way except that she thought she was a dog and loved to play fetch with wadded up lumps of tin foil and wine corks, the hollow space beneath our appliances had become a graveyard where cat fodder had gone to die.
Left in the wake of our food-chilling and clothes-cleaning machines was all manner of fright. You name it: plastic pieces to things we never knew were broken or missing (and some we did), an eye dropper, the remains of a Cadburry Egg so old it had disintegrated into a lump of fine chocolate-and-faux-egg-middle-esque powder (we are certain we have acturately ID'd this as a Cadburry product as part of the wrapper was still intact), a chewed up tampon (feline tooth marks, I assure you), balls of tinfoil, and ungodly wads of hairy, dusty lint mixed with dark gooey stains of laundry detergent that had seeped under the washer and congealed in a glorious blob of adhesive goo akin to the amusing sticky stuff they use to fasten credit cards to advertisments that promise 0% on balance transfers for 6 months and a 7.9% fixed rate after that.
Oh, and of course, one of Em's favorite thongs which I regret to inform you she pulled from this nasty rubble with glee proclaiming, "I LOVE that thong! It's like the best color ever!" and then, seeing the horror on my face, "Dude, I'll totally wash it" - something I had hoped would have gone without saying.
But when faced with such filth and scum lurking in the kitchen we formerly thought to be hygenic (minus the omnipresent cat hair, of course - something that had just become a part of the landscape), what do you think we did? Cleaned it up quickly before it made us vomit? Doused it with bleach and cleaner to sanitize it before the horror could possibly spread?
We waded through it on our hands and knees and picked and pilfered with our bare fingers in desperation to salvage memories of immeasurable value.
See, in our house for the last six years we've had a tradition of signing the corks from bottles of wine we drank with friends or for special occassions or just with dinner for no particular reason at all. And buried in the mess of grime and dead spiders and hair and dust left under our over-priced rented appliances were gems we could never get back unless we dove in after them. Gems like "Christmas Party, 2000", a remnant from our first grown-up Christmas party in our very first apartment out of college, "Shari Friesen Graduates" from the bottle of champagne we toasted to Emily's sister upon her college graduation, and my personal favorite, "1.8.2003 - Good Day at the Office", a tiny peek into a time of turmoil for both of us at our respective workplaces when coming home to soak in the hot tub and moan about our bad days was habit. A time when reverting to school-girl silliness, cracking stupid jokes and talking about boys from the hours of 5pm until bed instead of pretending to be the suit-wearing professionals we mascaraded as by daytime was all either of us had.
So dive in, we did. We salvaged a good many treasures and then returned them to their rightful home...the box with all the other signed corks which, of course, we had to pull out and read through all over again and every single one was sweeter than even the best bottle of wine had tasted.
After considerable reminiscing we remembered all the cleaning we had to do and started to rally ourselves to get going. But then Em came up with an alternative plan that sounded much better than scrubbing bathrooms or sweeping up the appliance catacombs. So instead we opened a bottle of wine, poured two glasses, turned on a sentimental cd (okay, it was Ricky Martin but I promise this has significance to us) and we played cards on the floor of our half empty, half stacked with boxes living room.
For what do broken-hearted girls have to do to console themselves but to drink wine and play cards and pretend that everything hasn't just changed around them so fast that the way it was is already hard to grab onto and it's suddenly hard to breath?
In an attempt to be brave, optimistic, forward-looking women, we signed the cork:
We have all the corks ahead of us.
June 30, 2005
8 days before Abby's wedding
But I know that's not was either of us was really thinking. We were thinking about the funeral we had just held over a heap of dusty garbage on the floor of our kitchen. We were mourning the loss of the only way we have ever known our friendship - as roommates.
I know there is much greatness and joy ahead but saying goodbye to what came before it is proving much more difficult than I was prepared for.