The Princess Of Garbage Day

by Marylee Fairbanks


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I am cleaning out my basement. I clutch my box of Hefty Ultra-flex Garbage Bags, inhale the musty aroma and repeat the mantra – it’s good to let go.

I unearth achievements from old newspapers and unopened gifts that I kept out of guilt. I exhume the exalted size four jeans, with a hole in one knee. I stumble over my college textbooks; their bindings as pristine as the day I purchased them.

I come across a 1995 instruction manual for the telephone system, where I was an office temp in between acting jobs.  This reminds me, my agent hasn’t called in seven years. They dropped me the day I told them I was pregnant.

One of the things that surprised me about motherhood was the unanticipated disappearance of my old self.  I attribute it to many things; weight gain, lack of sleep and time to myself, giving up a career that I loved, but I felt deeply that I wanted to be home with my child and that required letting go of things that I identified with.

I sift through an old photo album and admire myself in costumes or at parties with other youthful, enthusiastic performers and I wonder what happened to “that girl”.  It is as if she was absorbed into the fabric of who I am now. And somewhere, in the process of that melding, I released much of her sarcasm, selfishness, and anger.  Though sometimes I miss that feisty, sharp tongued, do almost anything on a dare, girl.

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