Joe, my old roommate (along with Jill, Jewel, Jal and June), notified me that he believed a stray Havaiana and a Norelco charger were left in a pile at my old apartment. He was right and I had been confused about those missing items because I hadn't shaved since I moved, hahaha.
I finally dropped by the apartment to hang with Joe, we rambled about our lives before we went into my old room. I grabbed my belongings and he asked if, opening the futon, whether these Trader Joe's and Census 2010 bags Full of illegible notebooks were mine. "Oh yeah!" I said in a mix of excitement and shame. I collected them, slinging them all on my shoulders and he asked, "hey, and this sweater, is it yours?"
"Actually, all of these sweaters," pulling out three stacks.
"Oh, my god." I laughed. I laughed and cursed and danced. I hadn't lost anything, I simply shoved a quarter of my belongings into a futon and walked away.
It was joyous. We drank a beer and ate Alligator pizza to celebrate.
My parents, Saints that they are, have been sending me sweaters in the mail and handed me five more when I went home for Thanksgiving. I was thankful (I'm wearing the cerulean one now!), but these old sweaters are gifts, memories, and had once defined me, like my ironic t-shirts in middle school, or bandanas and jokey sweatshirts in high school. I had recovered some pieces of myself.
(And I think I'm not materialistic!)
Today, I'm overwhelmed with sweaters and suit jackets and loans and transcriptions.
Taylor had a percussion teacher in high school named Joel Bluestone. Taylor always had such great things to say about Joel, and I was always happy to hear them, and not just because of his great name. I actually saw Joel play once at POP PDX and his band was fascinating and groovy. He was a cool guy but when Taylor left Oregon, he did so gladly, with need of a new perspective in life and in percussion.
Taylor moved back to go to PSU a couple years after and I asked him who he would take for lessons, and he said "Joel, probably."
"But you left. You went beyond his lessons, I thought."
~ "No, I left because I needed a different perspective to grow. He still has more to teach, of course."
And it made sense, eventually. Joel wasn't a teacher just for his youth, but a skilled, open teacher with much to offer. It was easier to see what else he offered after he left and experienced other perspectives.
I'm thinking about that a lot, lately. I'm thinking about that with a lot of things.