Reckless Abandon

Standing in the center of the room with her hands on her hips and an overwhelmed look on her face, she stared in silence at the plethora of boxes which flooded the living room floor. Beside her stood her faithful, little bronze colored Chihuahua, Maggie who sensed that change was indeed, in the making. Around them, brown cardboard cartons of every conceivable size, sat yawning and open, waiting patiently for more precious cargo to be stacked and packed inside. The stream of keepsakes, nick knacks and superfluous souvenirs was never ending and caused her to sigh in angst. Where had all of this “stuff” come from and more importantly, why on earth was she saving it? She realized with anguish that her home symbolized the excess she had yet to rid from her life.
Losing the weight had been most important. The extra 250 pounds she had carried around for so many years had nearly stolen her life and the extreme consumption of alcohol practically embezzled her soul. They had both played a part in her hopeless imprisonment and doing battle with each of them was like dueling with the devil. Three years of fighting with an iron will and a steel heart, she had triumphed, kicking the dickens out of both demons by getting sober and losing most of the excess weight. The only anchor weighing her down now was this huge old house overflowing with all of the “stuff” she had accumulated over the past several decades. It seemed as though the first half of her life had focused on gaining and obtaining more…more and more while today, her future begged her to remove, abandon and discard the things that restricted her independence.
Recently, she had made up her mind to begin a brand new journey with her streamlined body and this delightful new attitude on life. The lease on her home would expire soon and she had a destination or two in mind, so she had begun packing up the sprawling four bedroom ranch and found herself quite flabbergasted with the whole process. Most of the rooms had gone unused the entire time she had stayed there. There was a whole side of her home which reminded her of a dusty old museum filled with self-proclaimed treasures that no one bothered to look at. Everything sat there, waiting in limbo for a purpose. Shelves of books remained unread, alongside hundreds of movies encased in shiny plastic boxes, seen once and then crammed into the shelf, lost forever, never to be viewed again.
Woefully she strolled into the sunny country kitchen. This room had actually been the one which had sold her on the house, and though she loved that kitchen, she had never learned to cook. Wearily, she glanced over at the massive box of pots in the corner filled with miss matched pans and lids and noticed that the only one she ever used, an old red and black skillet with a worn out handle, still sat upon the stove waiting to be packed. She grabbed it and perched it precariously on top of the leaning stack of steel and aluminum inside the box.
Feeling beleaguered, she moved quietly from room to room taking note of the massive, heavy furniture crammed into every corner. She peeked into one of the extra bedrooms that she had not visited in quite a while and shook her head at the expensive exercise equipment which was barely visible beneath the blanket of clothing that had been tossed upon it after several frantic, wardrobe “search” sessions.
In the closet she spotted a large, worn, leather suitcase that had belonged to her mother. She pulled it from its hiding spot and carried it to her bedroom. She laid it upon the bed and began to fill the hollow shell with important things that she did not want to get lost in the confusion of the move; A few photo albums stuffed with favorite pictures of family and friends went in first, followed by a little pine, jewelry box that contained all of her favorite rings and things, including a few that had been worn by her mother. There were trinkets, and baubles inside, which she would never again wear, given to her by past lovers and admirers. Try as she might, she could not force herself to part with these silly mementos. She traced her finger around the edge of a silver pocket watch on a chain, which had belonged to her father. The hands had stopped moving long ago, but just seeing the old timepiece, warmed her heart. She opened the bottom drawer of her dresser and pulled out a stack of journals and a swollen pink diary she had guarded with vigor since the seventh grade. She walked over to the nightstand and lifted a tarnished, silver, photo frame, which held her favorite photograph of her mother and herself taken on her mom’s last Christmas day upon this earth. She took a deep breath, hoping it might help to dry the tears welling up in her eyes as she silently replayed the holiday visit in her mind. She wrapped the frame in her favorite hooded sweatshirt and placed everything on top and proceeded to close the suitcase full of treasures. As it snapped shut, she wondered to herself, was she really brave enough to leave her not so happy past behind? Was she fearless enough to abandon everything and everyone she had ever known to face the unknown with nothing but her wits and courage to guide her?
Stepping out into the cool, quiet morning, she stood in silent serenity and stared at the magenta sky and the magnificent sunrise before her. At that particular moment she made her decision. The weathered suitcase slipped easily into the backseat. Slamming the door, she turned and headed back up the walk towards the house which she had considered home for such a long time. Little Maggie felt the excitement it the air and turned madly in circles as her master stepped into the room. Bending down she scooped up the eager Chihuahua, holding her tightly beneath one arm. She stood reflectively and glanced around the house one last time. Slowly she began to back out of the front door when something caught her eye. She rushed past the open boxes which held all the suffocating baggage of her life and into the kitchen, where she reached out and grabbed the worn, comfortable handle of the red skillet and headed back out the front door, dropping the keys through the mail slot, once she slammed it shut.
Setting Maggie down to ride shotgun in the passenger seat, she started her Mustang and smiled as Journey belted out “Don’t stop believing” on the radio. The gravel crunched beneath the tires as she backed out of her drive for the final time. She fitted her sunglasses over her eyes, pointed her car towards the horizon, where the sun sat glowing like a bright orange balloon, pushed the accelerator to the floor and left all that she owned behind her, in a cloud of dust.

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