Off My Chest

by Erin Fore


My mother wants her furniture back because she claims I’d sell it. The woman knows me all too well. I once transformed my college graduation money, combined with the contents of my apartment, into a wondrous four-month road trip through the western half of the United States.

As I look around, I realize that only a small fraction of the things in this house belong to me. Those that do have already endured several moves and, collectively, aren’t worth a trip to the grocery store. Ironically, the priciest item of all is one I’d never hock: an antique chest of drawers I’ve kept in my bedroom since I was a little girl.

There are a million reasons why I’d choose Norman over Tulsa. My decision to leave, though, hinges on the fact that I’m completely broke, unemployed, and in debt. I want to relocate without any assistance, which requires getting a fair price for my car. From there, I can settle with Johnny Law for an incident involving some booze, a little herb and that same automobile last summer.

Once I’m in Norman, I can finally establish various streams of income. What that entails, though, I’m not yet sure.

Jewelry making has proven profitable in the past, and with Norman Music Festival three weeks away, the entire town is ripe for financial gain. (Antsy students plagued by spring fever are a spendthrift bunch, especially when it comes to buying trinkets from hippies.) But my only motivation here is income–there’s very little passion involved.

At any rate, I’ll be bringing: I’ve had in a while and some box springs for it; a record player; records and a small cabinet to put them in; paintings; lamps and side tables; far too many houseplants including a large Ficus; bean and sleeping bags; blankets and pillows; kitchenware; art supplies; a bulky, fragile Clavinova and other musical instruments; toiletries; clothing; one chair; towels; my laptop and camera, of course; a cat; a snake and the trunk her cage sits on that’s filled with memorabilia from boarding school. I’m “allowed” to take my chest of drawers, but might leave it behind.

The world is teeming with chests of drawers, anyhow.