I have been slowly slowly packing my things and moving into Nick’s house.
I show up with the most random conglomerations of stuff.
But for the fact that I generally look like I've bathed and am wearing clean clothing, I’m sure I look like a homeless woman wandering down the street. I'm constantly carrying too much, laden with piles of clothing and the occasional household goods.
One evening I showed up with my food processor packed in with my clothes in one of those rolly carry-on bags. This past weekend I brought my laundry basket, which is actually this really lovely woven basket rimmed in cowrie shells, which I bought in Cape Town.
Incidentally, if you’re ever visiting somewhere far away and you know you have to change planes three times to get home, a large exotic basket that you have to carry on the plane and worry about someone crushing with their luggage is one of the least practical things you can purchase. Likewise a large, brightly painted, carved wooden turtle with a long neck and the head of a woman. And bright red toenails on her turtlish feet.
So anyway. I showed up with this basket, inside of which I’d layered towels and wooden bowls and my electric teakettle. Under one arm I had a long grey duffel bag with an Afghan carpet rolled up inside. Plus some hangers. And in my purse, crammed full of books and lotions and whatever else I could fit, I’d stashed a bunch of my jewelry.
There are many detestable things about moving, but the fun part is rediscovering bits and pieces of your past. For example, yesterday I found my childhood charm bracelet, in need of a slight bit of repair.
I haven’t worn it in years and years. I imagine plenty of you had charm bracelets, but if you've never had one, as a child, they're really fun. You’d add a charm when you went somewhere, or you’d get a charm as a birthday or Christmas present. The charms were special memories.
What I realized yesterday is that at first glance it’s not remotely unusual. It's a girly charm bracelet.
Until you start looking at individual charms.
There’s the little silver coral-studded elephant. And the miniature bullock card with wheels that turn. There’s a diminutive gardening shears, which actually can cut paper, as I recall. There are tiny Thai bells that ring. And an itty-bitty Taj Mahal, with four delicate silver turrets, one in each corner.
But my favorite favorite charm at that time? A tiger’s claw, rimmed in silver.
Looking at it now, I realize two things. One, that a tiger’s claw actually seemed like a normal kind of charm back then. And two? That a claw is really just a toenail. I have a bracelet with a toenail dangling from it, albeit one that used to belong to a tiger.
It’s kind of creepy and gross if you think about it.
As soon as I get it fixed, I’m totally going to start wearing it.