There is a growing patch of blue speckled, beige berber carpet in the dining room. Where the largest of her two china cabinets sat, there is an empty space. The vacuum has scooped up the gray cat hair and smoothed over the rectangular indentation of a bottom piece. One of the small metal “feet” has left a rust stain. Jean’s smaller china cabinet remains, still filled with her parents’ memories and those of her own…the china doll, the soft white, alabaster unicorn, a cut glass pitcher and glasses, hand painted plates, a few pieces of rosy china.
Jean wanders her small, one-bedroom-and-a-den apartment, her girl cave, realizing that in two weeks and a day, she will be gone.
Brown cardboard boxes of various sizes sit in a corner of the living room, another space made bare by the removal of a blue Lazy Boy recliner and computer table. Pieces of Jean are scattered about, waiting for a box to envelop them. What shall she do with the motley assortment of silk flowers? Plastic cookie containers? Cookbooks that she never uses? Which brown box? Does Jean store them or take them with her to the new apartment? Jean is confused, so she sits and stares.
In another corner of the living room, a behemoth of a gray Sony television plays the local news on top of a dark wooden kitchen table. Jean laughs under her breath. It was the only thing that would hold the heavy analog antique. Jean decides to put the TV on Craig’s List and get rid of it in the hopes someone else would carry it down a flight of stairs. From the blue plaid couch, mere feet away from the behemoth, the gray feline gives a “live is so rough” yawn as big as a barn door and rolls onto her back. She wants Jean to rub her mottled stomach. Jean obliges.
Jean wanders again. “I need to get going,” she whispers to herself. “I really need to get going.” Pictures on the wall pass by Jean’s head and she begins to formulate which ones she will take with her and which ones will be stored. More decisions.
Not everything will be decided at this moment. Jean stops at the computer in her bedroom and checks Facebook. Suddenly, she realizes that her dancing show is on and that her goal was to pack boxes for two hours. Jean posts a picture of her cat in a cardboard box and gets up from the computer. The cardboard box cat…the life is so rough cat…has followed Jean into the bedroom and now lays sprawled on the sea green quilt, joining the other gray one, who sleeps. A motor runs and feline begs for more tummy rubs. Jean obliges and then finally urges herself out into the hallway and to a view of the brown box carnage.
It’s time to make another bare spot in the carpet or pile boxes where the china cabinet once sat.