Embarrassment. Optimization. The desire to be thinner.
Single earrings whose mates have been lost for years. Ditto socks.
The need to read every book on my shelves. And every book suggested to me, or given. And every book I come across online. My reading log.
My mileage log. My planner.
Unkind theology. Diagnoses. Fantasies of wealth. Words that express the desire to hurt another, even in jest.
The hopeful fiction that the city is actually recycling our recyclables.
The habit of glancing in every mirror.
Time-blocking. Task-switching. Daylight Savings Time. Clocks. Hurry.
The need to be calmer, smarter, better-read. The need to be better: a better storyteller; a better cook, a better leader; better at remembering birthdays, anniversaries; better at making eye contact and listening at the same time.
The desire to change my loved ones, for their own good, of course. The need to explain myself, and be understood. The habit of advice.
…Mostly things that cannot be simply picked up and thrown in the trash. This is good. There is — according to the pictures and the news, according to friends who travel and really look, according to the logic of how we live — far too much trash already.
This does not solve the problem of how to throw away, for example, the habit of advice. (By which I meant both: giving unsolicited, and ravenously ingesting.) There is — according to what I remember of my formal education in the sciences — no away.
Suggesting that I will not so much be rid of these items as aware of them. Able to choose.