**Next Slim Jackson Ustream live video chat/Q&A is scheduled for 2/2 at 10pm. Also, if you’re in NYC, come out to Turtle Bay NYC on the corner of 52nd and 2nd on 2/3 for happy hours from 9-12. Half off on all drinks if you say Slim Jackson at the door. I’ll be upstairs sipping something potent. Email slimjackson@live.com so I know you’re coming.**

That's what she said or pause. You pick.

I’m prone to small fits of hoarding at times. Granted, it never gets to the point of needing psychological help or 1-800-Junk to come and remove possums, decayed meow, and severely expired bison meat from my soon-to-be condemned home. In other words, there will be no A&E for me. Disclaimer aside, I find myself keeping receipts and papers as well as other miscellaneous items that I swear I’ll need one day. The good thing for me is that every few months, I go through rounds of cleaning to purge my life of clutter. Sometimes it’s inspired by tripping over a shoe or wire. Other times it’s sparked by the sight of a fly with the sole purpose of irritating me into accidentally slapping myself in the head.

While going through one of my cleaning sessions, I came across a box in my closet that’s traveled with me from apartment to apartment for the last 7 or so years. I’ve opened it on occasion, but only to add “extremely important stuff” to it.  I finally decided it was time to rid myself of the contents, but not until I had reviewed each item. Seriously, I’m not a chronic hoarder. I just like to keep things sometimes!

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Anyway, I found a tape measure from college that I used at track meets to mark my runway approach in the long jump. I found pictures from freshman year about 30 lbs ago when I used to do dumb sh*t like wear doo-rags and long icy white tees. Then I picked up a couple notebooks that I had jotted rhymes and stories in over the years. And lastly, I found letters, cards, and pictures from (clothed for the most part) ex’s. You’d have thought someone was sitting nearby observing me clean and answering my obviously rhetorical questions with how many times I asked aloud “why do I still have this?”

I’d hoped that asking myself would motivate me to get rid of the items from my previous failures and ultimately some of my greatest learning experiences. But despite how I felt about the person in the current, the desire to completely destroy any trace of evidence that these women ever existed in my life wasn’t there. In my mind, I liked having something positive to look back on from those relationships despite how tumultuous they may have been and on what terms they ended; well, all past relationships except “that one.”

One day, all of these items will have to go. Despite the fact I have no desire to pick up the pieces or relight the love candle with any of these women, I don’t want to forever run the risk of having that special somebody find the contents of my past while trying to clean out my closet because she’s tired of not having a place to put all her shoes. I’d rather just tell her what she needs to know at my discretion than give her pictures to go with my words. After all, some things are better left unsaid and undiscovered.

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I don’t know when that final purge will happen, but when it does I know that I’ll be entering the next chapter of my life. Until then, happy hunting I guess.

Sporadically going through boxes and falling asleep afterwards,