When in Ohio, do like the Ohioans do.
And what Ohioans do in the stagnant, damp, corn-girdled heat of August is gather on their front lawns with the all the crap they’ve accumulated over the last decade, hoping desperately to get rid of that second toaster or vintage Queen t-shirts and make an extra buck.
It would be imprudent of me not to engage in this time-honored behavior just because I’m technically just visiting my old Ohio home. My Brooklyn address does not exempt me from nourishing my roots.
So I will be taking part in the annual Northside Community Yardsale next Saturday in an effort to sell some of the superfluous rubbish that’s taking over my apartment, such VHS tapes (Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Sleepover Party, anyone?), CDs (iTunes now gets all my money), and, of course, the every-meal of champions, fresh-baked bread by your truly (I was Betty “Effin” Crocker in another life, I swear).
The yard sale really is integral to the fabric of communities, like the set-in wine stain that can’t be Oxy-cleaned off. It grants neighbors and communities the opportunity to get to know one another through the exploration of their intimate belongings. It’s benign, yet intensely personal. I was rummaging through my old Goth clothes last night and was having a difficulties deciding what to part with. While I will never wear my fur-lined ladies’ trench coat ever again, the idea of letting out of my sight was terrifying for a few moments.
Someone else could have possession of a relic of my former lives. It could transcend me and begin anew with another. It’s like breaking up with your past and realizing that you can’t remain friends afterward.
It’s sad, yet tacitly liberating too.