My life’s in a box

I WANT my toothbrush, but it’s in a box.

Which is where my wife is going to be if she doesn’t stop packing.

We don’t move for a month yet, for God’s sake, but my entire life is in a box. Not just the life I lead now, but the lives I’ve led for the past six decades.

They’re all piled up in the lounge room, which is itself in a series of boxes, like some mythological creature that has disappeared up its own backside.

And somewhere in there is my toothbrush.

Now I think of it as up something’s backside I’m not sure I want it any more, but that’s not the point.

The point is we’re moving. Why do people do this? It’s a nice house. It fits me. It has taken several years to achieve this.

My wife says it’s a mess and yes, it is a mess. That’s why it fits me.

But moving won’t make any difference. We could move into Buckingham Palace and within three years it would be a mess. Comfortable, but messy.

There is a problem here. I think it’s that my wife is trying to escape us. We are the kind of people that can bury a coffee table under a compost heap of magazines.

We are the kind of people who will buy a new set of crockery before we’ll get round to doing the washing up. Selling up and moving on doesn’t change any of this.

A lobotomy is the only way of changing these things.

And I want my toothbrush.

I am beginning to feel as if I have lived my life in boxes. We have a box marked ‘Sentimental’. It is still sealed from when we moved seven years ago.

(And, incidentally, we moved from a comfortable but messy house to a very smart house that is now comfortable but messy. My case rests).

This means we have a box full of belongings that are of such immense sentimental value to us that we have lived without them – or without seeing them, anyway – for the past seven years.

If my wife had just thrown them away I would never have remembered them!

I wish she had! Then I wouldn’t be going through the torment of making a decision myself.

We’ll keep them of course. When it comes right down to the wire you can’t throw away 3649 finger paintings drawn by your children when they were two years old.

We’ll find a cupboard and they’ll live in it for another seven years, unseen by anyone, and then another seven, until we die. Then the kids will open it and they’ll dismiss it as an experiment by their father when he was going through his existentialist phase and throw them away, in case the relatives find out.

Meanwhile my teeth are rotting in my head because I have no toothbrush. What kind of a person packs the toothbrushes three weeks before the moving date!

I am going to buy a new one. In a way I suppose this is some kind of lesson. I mean, my toothbrush was worn out, too. Like the house. It’s time to buy a new one.

Eventually it will wear out, too. And I’ll wake up, perhaps, to the fact that it’s not the toothbrush, nor the house, that’s the problem. It’s me.

It’s not the house that has cobwebs and white ants. It’s me!

The house is merely the canvas on which the indolence is painted. The real slob here is me!

Which is why I’m going to eat an apple instead of cleaning my teeth. Apples are good for the teeth.

Except that the apples are packed in a box…