I spent a few hours over the past week helping a friend pack up and move. Something I’ve done many times before.
Only, in this case, my friend already left. And wherever he is now, he won’t be needing his file cabinets or his shoes or his pipe collection… or any of his worldly possessions.
So, that was a weird experience. Packing up and moving… nowhere. Most of his furniture and clothing was going to a local charity (Bridge House) so we just carried it down the stairs and, instead of putting it onto a moving truck, we simply piled it in the driveway.
Moving that couch and sofabed down the narrow stairwell was quite an adventure. I’m not as sore today as I thought I might be.
Scott’s mother was in town from Birmingham. She didn’t have much use for all this stuff. The antiques and valuables were sold, but she was happy for us to take whatever we could use. I think Frank may have a new library (mostly science fiction paperbacks) to replace the many books he lost to the Federal Flood. I took home a coffee table, an old mirror, a toolbox full of tools, and more than a few odds and ends. A big hunk of coral for Xy’s classroom. A bottle of Murphy Oil Soap. A box of peppermint tea. A sword coated in glitter — which is not an unusual thing to find in any New Orleanian’s closet, really.
I thought about it some, and in my spare time, I’m going to try writing Scott’s name in the books that I have. Not that I need a reminder, but just so I have an excuse to smile everytime I open one up to read them. It’ll be like he is sharing another story. I think he’d like that idea.
Scott wrote a date inside the back for each time he re-read a book, so you’ll also have a memento there at the end.
I have some odds and ends as well, but I also have a framed print of Van Gogh’s Starry Night from Scott’s house. I hung it up at work and it reminds me of Scott– colorful, talented, and occasionally explosive. The whole experience reminded me that I should specify in my will that I want to happen to my possessions should I pass away. I want my friends and relatives to take what things of mine they want, especially the books. Especially, especially, the books.