I hurl my Dream in and watch it catch fire. “Burn, baby, burn,” I mutter under my breath. Church of the Firepit solemnly witnesses, sipping scotch and cracking jokes supportively.
Church of the Firepit started during 2020 lockdown when the real church closed down and our neighbors invited a few of us over for a socially-distant BYOB at their backyard firepit. Every week, after learning how to homeschool on the fly and setting up home offices and Zooming our little butts off, we’d gather at the firepit, clutching bourbon or beer and relaxing into our chairs as we remembered how to laugh and enjoy adult conversation. Even after lockdown ended, our firepit gatherings continued, and I dubbed it Church of the Firepit. These neighbors who had been friends before became family as we processed the world together and showed up for each other week after week, trauma after bloody, tumorous trauma.
I’ve been cleaning out my office. Sounds benign. How bad can an office be? Let me rephrase. I’ve been cleaning out my 44 years of collected life strata. My office is the Memory Dump of our home, and if you scrounge around long enough you’ll probably find Bing Bong lurking behind a stack of Psalty the Singing Songbook CDs or a dust-covered craft project from my son’s preschool over a decade ago.
I’ve racked and stacked the detritus of our lives, and my beloved writing space has become so chaotic that I can’t sit at my desk without my eyes wandering around my jam-packed shelves. I should write, but look at that mountain of receipts from appliances we don’t even own anymore. I should write, but there’s a pile of fourth-grade math homework my 17-year-old might want someday. I should write, cue skeletal hands filled with school permission slips bursting through the floor and pulling me into the Upside Down aaaggghhhhhh!!!
The end. It’s a fire sale. Everything must go. I grab trash bags and start tossing, wiping the shelves with a microfiber dust cloth as they groan their thanks. Freedom!