After my husband left, I was left with a 100-year-old house with filthy molding, damaged plaster, cracked windows and peeling paint. I had to sell it, because all he wanted out of 40 years was the equity, plus I couldn’t really afford to live there.
Stripped, patched, and sanded
I transfigured the hallway
My life, not so much
Umberto Eco said, “The list is the origin of culture. Wherever you look in cultural history, you will find lists.” My lists exist on every surface of my life- the car dashboard, my desk, the fridge, the spiral book I carry everywhere. I have two list apps on my phone. I had those little moleskin notebooks where I organize my lists into meta-lists. A notebook for the rehab, and one for the house search, and the one for the new database.
My lists move
From list to list
An illusion of control
Lists explain things. They lay it out—if I can distill it into these discreet steps, then the terrible unknowableness of life will disappear. If I can list it, I can control it. My lists mean that I can move through and check off- this is done, and this and this and this. It breaks life down to its essential essence, like an atom with ever smaller molecules. The list as infinity.