Back towards the end of January Michael came back to stay for a few days, but due to certain circumstances the few days turned into several weeks and he’s still here. Then one evening last week, while he was at work and not long after I’d arrived home from my own work, four large boxes and several black bags of his stuff were dumped in my front garden – it looked like his temporary stay here had become permanent. Of course I couldn’t leave everything in the garden so it was all stacked in my living room until he had time to deal with it all.
Now I don’t know about anyone else but when you live mainly alone for eight years in a 3-bedroom house your own stuff tends to breed and accumulate in various places, and the wardrobe in Michael’s room was full my ‘I probably won’t wear it again but it’s too good to throw away and I still like it’ stuff, including all my old dancing gear – leotards, glittery costumes, Latin American dresses, ballroom shoes, ballet shoes, tap shoes, various exotic (and even erotic) outfits from my nightclub dancing days in the 90s, and other accessories I couldn’t house elsewhere, plus access to the wardrobe itself was blocked by my large gym-spec treadmill. So far Michael hadn’t needed or wanted to use the wardrobe but with the arrival of all his stuff it looked like things would have to be re-arranged to make room for everything else.
I started the major sort out last Sunday afternoon, and what an afternoon it turned out to be. Michael’s room isn’t exactly the biggest, it’s an odd shape and there isn’t a lot of floor space, so the sort out wasn’t particularly straightforward. First I had to move a bookcase-sized cabinet to gain enough room to get the treadmill through the door; the cabinet was dragged onto the landing and left outside my own bedroom door, then the treadmill was pulled out. That wasn’t without its problems though; as I pulled the machine through the bedroom doorway I also had to negotiate an awkward corner and at one point it was completely stuck, tilted to one side and with one of its legs part way up the wall. I freed it eventually though and it was put in its new home in a corner of the landing near the bathroom – thank goodness I have a large landing in a square U shape otherwise I don’t know where I would have put it. Next I pulled all my dancing gear out of the wardrobe; there was so much of it that it took ages to sort it all out but finally the wardrobe was empty. With the carpet vacuumed I dragged the cabinet from the landing and put it back in its place in the bedroom then brought the bags of Michael’s stuff from downstairs and dumped them on, and at the side of, his bed for him to sort out later.
Once I’d finished my afternoon’s efforts I sent Michael a text – “The good news is, you can get into your room and the wardrobe is now empty, the bad news is, you can’t get into your bed!” Back came the text – “Not a problem, I can sleep on the floor!” He was actually only joking when he sent that text, but as it turned out that’s exactly what he did. I met him from work at 6pm and we went out for a meal, then when we got back he made a start on sorting out and finding a home for all his stuff, but it wasn’t exactly a simple task. Because everything had obviously been packed very haphazardly he had to open all the bags to find things, and he ended up with so many clothes, shoes and dvds on his bed that it looked like an explosion in an Oxfam shop. He hadn’t a hope in hell of getting everything put away by the time he went to bed so he had a choice – dump it all on the floor and get into his bed (and the following morning risk standing on, and possibly breaking, something that mattered) or leave it all where it was and sleep on the floor. He chose the second option, which seemed to be the easiest, so I found him a very thick king size duvet which he could double over and use as a mattress, a couple of pillows and a warm fleece blanket, and he bedded down in the space between the side of his bed and the chest of drawers.
Believe it or not he slept like that for three nights. After working a full 12-hour shift he’s understandably fairly tired when he gets home so sorting out all his stuff has been a slow process, though it’s finished now and he’s back to sleeping in his bed again. It’s good to have him back home again permanently though, even if I did turn half my life and my house upside down to accommodate him; he may be a bit of a pain sometimes even though he’s an adult, but at the end of the day he’s still my son and I love him to bits.