My boyfriend unpacks a strange little contraption from one of the kitchen boxes and examines it closely to unveil its mysteries. “It’s a stove-top espresso maker/dispenser,” I say.
My accumulations of exotic objects, from many years of traveling, were mostly stacked away in forgotten corners of my apartment in San Francisco. Moving to a house in Santa Rosa is unpacking many of the memories along with the collections.
I will not be unpacking everything. For example, I have decided to stack many of my boxes of books in the garage instead of restoring them to the bookshelves in my office. Considering that I do most of my reading on the iPad now, the books are going to slowly find their way to libraries, book-exchanges, and used-book stores. This choice already makes my current office feel expansive with space for objets d’art.
The unpacking experience is similar yet different for each room. As I hang my clothes into the closets, I notice that I can see them all in one glance because the dresses and pants and shirts are not compressed together into a small space. It’s not that my apartment in San Francisco was small but rather our house in Santa Rosa is bigger.
I can’t predict the shape that my emotions will take as I transition from an urban life in San Francisco to a suburban one in Santa Rosa. For the moment, however, I’m luxuriating in the pleasure of decompressing into a larger space.