a kleenex tale

(cross-posted from my LJ)
I’m going to tell you the tale of a vacuum cleaner.

A very important vacuum cleaner.

Back in 2000, I was living in Chicago (for the first time) and living with one of my closest friends, Jenn. We had known each other and had been close since pretty much the first day we met, which was back in January of 1994.
Well, in trying to be more “adult” and purchase practical things for the apartment, I bought this Bissell vacuum cleaner. Not the best vacuum cleaner, but it was over 100$, so that was a lot for me back then….
About a year later, I picked up and moved back to Massachusetts, and when I did, I inadvertently left behind a couple of things. The dish set that was a going away gift for me & Jenn, a mixer I liked and simply forgot…. and the vacuum cleaner.

We have since joked over the years about how “it’s right in our closet, if you ever want it back” and I would always protest and say no worries.

Jenn had started a theatre company just before I moved back to Massachusetts in 2001, and when Sara and I moved BACK to Chicago, it was natural to ease into becoming a company member of that theatre company. I’ve been a company member for over a year and a half now, and I’ve grown to view my fellow company members as family. That being said, due to the emotional and raw nature of the art we do sometimes, much like family - we don’t always like each other, and sometimes conflicts arise.

We (the company) decided over this past weekend that in order to have any hope of moving forward as a theatre company, we needed to let Jenn go from the company. The reasons are there, and it’s not my place to discuss them in a public forum. That being said, though, all of our company’s props, costumes, lights, etc, have always been stored in Jenn’s basement. She requested we remove all of it within 48 hours, which we agreed would be the right thing.

I’m the only one with a large enough “common” space in my basement, so all the stuff is now slated to reside at my place. The rest of the company emptied out Jenn’s basement last night, and then they met me at my place, where we started to unload the truck as fast as we could.

and then I saw it.

tucked in the back of the truck, unnoticed by the rest of the company….

the vacuum cleaner.

my heart fell.

and I knew.

we’re done.

I knew that we didn’t have a good chance to recover our friendship from the mess of the theatre company stuff, but I did have a grain of hope.

not anymore.

I don’t even need the vacuum, but I also can’t bring myself to throw it away.

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