I wheeled my bicycle into my bedroom, feeling tired and depressed. It wasn't my current bedroom; it was the one I had in North Hollywood, when I shared an apartment with two co-workers from the bookstore. I opened the door and was astonished at how cluttered my room was. It was obvious that I had just been blindly accumulating things, not even valuable things but junk, and lacking the motivation to keep things in order had just left them lying around. Piles of paper, mostly mail waiting to be gone through. Mounds of plastic shopping bags I hadn't found time to recycle. Kipple.

It scared me, that I had let my room get like this.

I realized that I had to clean it all up starting now. The things I wanted to keep needed to be put in order. Everything else, I had to ignore my pack rat tendencies and throw away. I parked my bike and started in on the plastic bags. I began stuffing handfuls of bags into other bags and knotting them for carrying. As I worked I realized that the pile was much larger than I'd thought. The same would be true of everything else. Cleaning my room was going to be a lot harder than it looked, because it had been left like this for so long. I wanted to stop and crawl into bed and go to sleep. But I didn't; I kept cleaning.

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