We lugged in one heavy box after another and I was really piqued to know what was in them, though I did not end up finding out. But I can make an educated guess: cutlery, ceramics, DVDs [which would take a lifetime to watch], folders with unspecified documents, clothes, stuff for which I probably do not even have the conceptual wherewithal to name it correctly, electronic equipment, stuff that one sees at IKEA and thinks people will never use…but they actually do, terry towels, emergency ration soap, desultory office material, playstations [at least as many as there are generations], a knife collection, tchotchke [again, worth a lifetime], more stuff still.
The cellar is of such a size that it is divided into four different, big rooms, one for food, one for repairs, one zoned for a home cinema and a fourth as yet undefined [though a friend of mine claimed one is set aside for meat]. Fritzel would be slavering and green-eyed, room for four extra-families.
The bedrooms are on the second floor, nothing to blog about. But then I stepped through the parent’s bedroom into the “Ankleide”, the “walk-in closet” and I thought to myself: “This is serious, 0-bullshit adult life. I must never come to this.” There was a lovely scent in the closet but what it did to me is activate a phantasmagoria of white-collar ennui, administrative class horror, mornings where one wishes to spend the rest of the day under the shower. An adult due diligence that emotionally rapes the child that is said to be inside us.
Strangely, I did enjoy the idea that my friend and his wife who were to move into this place probably do like the house for what it basically is: a big, nice, heated place. The elementary pleasure of owning stuff that I only experience in the presence of books, running shoes and clothing given to me by other people. But above all BOOKS. If I had known there to be books in those boxes I would have cut them open on arrival and browsed for potential borrowings.
I can be honest, I have a long seizures of honesty, like now, so I can admit: I was gently impressed by the presence of three humungous TV screens – one in the parent’s bedroom, one in the living room and one [in true US American family discord style] in the kitchen. Not the fact that they were absolute high-end but the sheer number three. Though it is perfectly logical, it actually has never occurred to me that one could have three television sets in a single household – there is the one in the living room [check] and then you could either have one in the kitchen [check] or one in the bedroom [check]. But the possibility that you might as well go ahead and have the living-room-dictator as well as both of the latter two [check, double-check] had never manifested in my mind. Plus I had to absorb/process/come-to-grips-with the fact that all three televisions [both plasma and lcd, I recall] were professionally mounted to the wall as in an upscale-store showroom, no “cable-salad” whatsoever.
Then later, sitting in the living room, I was gazing across the sheer depth of the space and deriving appropriate amounts of pleasure. The late sun was jutting in through the deck window, pale gold, warming the ambient air to touch our skins warmly. This all belongs to somebody, to T&A, is the capacious volume of their personal kingdom. Possibly to be filled with yet more stuff. Not to mention offspring. I understood, I emoted, I empathized but I do not want any such space for myself. Space, space, space, domesticated, warm, private, stuffed, electrified god-damn space.
At one point my friend was coming down the stairs and said “See. This is what you work for.” Goodness, I loved it when he said that. Just the evidence and visible joy of so clearly having achieved their goal. They had been staying in a not-so-fabulous appt for a few years, saving money, explaining themselves and now This!
Cause —> Effect.
I loved this perfect linearity and clarity and the happiness of what my friend was saying.
At the same time it was curious because I know that this is not what I work for. My motives are much more modest: pay the rent, pay the other bills, buy books and go on vacation every once in a while. This is what I work for. I lean towards meaning rather than stuff. And anyway, in the end I ideally want the work to be the end.
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