Maine Memo

Part of me feels like if you want to get a good look at your life so far, all you need to do is pack up everything you own. Everything you’d really rather not see slammed behind the door of a U-Haul truck.

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But then I think that can’t be true, because it’s not about the stuff. It’s not about the stuff scattered all around you — the stuff that you once thought special enough to sock away.

I’ll make you a deal: you come pack my closet, and I’ll come do your job for a day. Wherever you are, whatever you do. Show me, switch with me, and I’ll even throw in an exorbitantly priced cup of coffee. And a cookie, mostly M&M’s, just like the ones you loved when you were little. It might be missing a bite or two. But that’s okay — we’re all friends here, right?

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I can offer you a view, too. A beautiful view — I can almost guarantee it. It’s like Maine knows I’m on the way out, and it’s decided to look extra nice, for the last few weeks.

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Can I ask you something? Three somethings.

1). Where do you go when you’re sad?

2). Do you like dogs?

3). What do you do when it rains?

These are important questions, I think. Because, contrary to popular belief, not every day is not a brilliant summer day. (Maine’s memo must have gotten lost in the mail.)

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Honestly: it’s like living in a painting.

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Only, the people put into paintings? I’ll bet they aren’t wrestling with every emotion under the sun. (This is the trouble with packing. This is why I need you.)

I’m admitting defeat. I’ve given up trying to figure out how I’m feeling. I’ve arrived at only one definite conclusion: I have no business being anywhere near the permanent marker. Particularly while wearing white.

You should come take it away. (The marker, that is.) Pry it from my fingers, if you have to. Tell me that the only constant is change, or something equally clichéd (and annoyingly true). Tell me something I might find folded into a fortune cookie cave. Those quotes, they aren’t all bad.

I need you to tell me what to let go of and what to hold onto, even though I think I already know.

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The death grip I have on my diet? Let’s see…that would be under Let Go. Why? Because garlic cheddar bread is a thing. A phenomenal thing.

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And whether I’m five pounds up or ten pounds down, everything is going to feel unbearably topsy-turvy. I might as well not feel starved, in addition to everything else.

The people who love me whether or not I’m living off of fruit and oatmeal, for the time being?

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I should hang onto them. Definitely, definitely, definitely, hang onto them.

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They’re everything — even now. (Maybe even especially, now.) They’re everything, along with the other people who make me loosen up and laugh.

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They’re everything — these people who hardly see that my hair is messed up and my shirt is stretched out and my body is perpetually pear-shaped.

Happy is pretty — that’s what I bet these people would say, if they could come over right now. They would say that pretty has so little to do with anything else, and I would believe them. Or I would try really hard to. Because I love them.

Happy is pretty. I think I should hang onto that, too.

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