To be honest, for the first two years in Marquette, we always joked that we'd show up to graduation with our U-haul. This way we could flee town directly after the ceremony. But something happened in our last two years and I found myself wanting to stay.
After my final day in Marquette last week, which I spent biking around town and saying goodbye to friends, I was scrubbing the grease off our stove's drip pans in the sink. Other than vacuuming and taking out the rest of the trash, this was the last thing I had to do before we left. Emotionally speaking, I was feeling pretty stable. After saying goodbye to everyone earlier in the evening, I expected the rest of the night to go smoothly. Plus, I had soaked the drip pans in some awful smelling solvent all day, and it looked as if they were going to come mostly clean. I was determined not to spend $11.00 on a new set.
I was scrubbing away when Joe walked up beside the sink and put his arm around me. "It looks like we forgot about this little guy," he said joking. He held out the palm of his hand to show me one little googly eye, and for some reason, I lost it.
It's no secret that I cry too much, and usually at the most inconvenient times, but a little plastic eye? Really? I've been thinking about this moment for the last few days, and I keep trying to figure out what I was feeling just then. That eye wasn't anything of sentimental value--it took me a while to remember where it even came from (the filing cabinet in my first office at NMU).
Maybe the outburst had something to do with the idea that no matter how much we pulled out of that apartment, there was still one small sign of our existence there. Or maybe it was that soon there would be nothing at all. There's a weird connection that comes with the things we own. As much as I am trying to cure myself of this, there are some objects that are too hard to part with, but at the same time, I hate them. I detest moving them from one place to another. I hate looking at the clutter.
But still, for some reason, I found myself crying over the sink, trying to decide whether or not I should keep the tiny plastic craft supply, whether I should carry it in my pocket forever as some sort of Marquette memento.
Poor Joe was just trying to be funny.