As I hunted through my closet for more things to purge, I felt a big goofy grin spreading across my face. No, I had not been doing shots of whiskey (it’s still twenty-eight days and counting without any alcohol). So why was there such a pleasant buzz going through my body?
The joy of fifty or so pounds of unneeded possessions soon to be leaving my life, and the relief there’s only 72 hours left to the Minimalism Game.
With days 26-28, I successfully completed the Great Clothing Catharsis of 2016. Sayonara, ties. Adios, suits. Dress shirts and pants that have been collecting dust in my closet since I moved . . . so long, suckers. Shoes with holes or worn soles, I’ll see you in hell (no, just kidding, shoes, I meant the trash barrel). I also got rid of a pair of underwear, a pair of long johns, one sock, two bags, eight hats, 24 more t-shirts, and a batting glove. Eighty-one items in all.
I’d say the things I was happiest to see go were my suits and ties. Since moving to Hawaii, they have darkened my closet with their sneering attitude. You need to keep us, Ostrowski. You can’t stay in Honolulu forever, and when you go back to the mainland they’ll laugh at you if you wear aloha shirts to work. Grays, charcoals, and dark colors. You need us!
I don’t need you.
As Hunter S. Thompson once said, “all energy flows according to the whims of the great magnet”. I’m not sure how long this Hawaii adventure will last, or what the future holds for me. But I’m confident I don’t need a neck tie to get there.
Was there anything I hesitated over parting with? Yes, and it actually did not end up in the pile even though it probably should have. My Chicago Cubs fishing hat from 1991.
It’s dirty, it’s threadbare, and I’ll never wear it again. But I couldn’t give it up because of the memories. I got it the summer I turned twenty-one on a trip to Chicago, as a giveaway on the Fourth of July at Wrigley Field. I’d seen the ballpark on TV so many times, but I wasn’t prepared for how green and vivid it was on first glance as we walked up the concourse ramp to our seats.
There were the houses hanging over the bleachers! The Ivy! And we could see Harry Caray up in the broadcast booth! Simply put, you will never forget your first trip to Wrigley Field.
You also didn’t have to leave your seat to get beer, and we took full advantage of that convenience to keep cool that muggy afternoon. We also got treated to extra innings, and Mark Grace sent the fans home happy with an 11th Inning walk-off homerun. We left Wrigley for Grant Park, where we got to sample great food at the Taste of Chicago and then watch fireworks later in evening.
I can remember that day better than most that happened last month. While I didn’t need that hat to conjure up those memories, it made me smile just holding it and feeling the stitching of the Cubs logo. It might be going back in the closet to collect dust, but it stays.
Looking ahead, these final three days are going to be a challenge. Ninety more things must go. Come April Fools’ Day, we’ll see if I succeeded.
Novelist and screenwriter with degrees from Boston University and Emerson College who lives in Hawaii. Aloha and mahalo in advance for reading my work! You can order a copy of my new novel here! https://www.inkshares.com/books/lost-in-the-fog