Dec 15, 2013


On a windless winter night, with the world tucked snugly in under a duvet of snow (not a blanket, blankets are wool and scratchy and Hudson's Bay-coloured), I lie awake, thinking of moving the furniture around. It is, of course, 3 a.m. (Isn't it always?)

The night pulls me when I should be sleeping. I have things to do tomorrow (go to the gym, paint my nails, wash the floor), but I can't stop thinking about moving the furniture around.

I slip out from under my duvet (not of snow, this one, but some sort of synthetic material that makes me sweat if I don't stick my feet out, a dangerous prospect since the cat is fond of chewing my toes in the morning), ease the bedroom door mostly-closed behind me, pour a tall glass of cold water, and stand in the middle of the room, surveying.

There is nowhere for anything to go that is not exactly where it already is.

I'm going to get rid of those vases. There are five of them, the kind of thin glass that comes with a florist's bouquet. There has never been a time when I have needed five cheap glass vases. I also have too many decanters. There was a time when decanters were all the rage, apparently. I could probably use a decanter as a vase, should the unlikely occasion arise that someone brings flowers that don't already come in their own cheap glass vase. 

It's not moving the furniture around, but it's something.

I often find myself searching for things to get rid of. Old lingerie, expired medicine, socks verging on holes. Exotic condiments used once for a recipe and relegated to the back of the fridge. A lipstick that makes me feel old or ugly when I wear it, a bottle of thickened nail polish. People, sometimes.

I have a secret I can't tell anyone, because if I tell you you'll think I'm the worst kind of person. But I wonder if everyone possesses this secret, and we're all walking around keeping it because we're afraid that everyone else will think we're the worst kind of people. I'm not ready to tell anyone yet.

So instead I will lie awake at 3 a.m. and find things to get rid of and try to move the furniture around.