September 14th 2018

Today I moved back into my Mum and Dad’s house, and moved out of the house I shared with my former girlfriend.

It was a difficult day. I’m not ashamed to admit that when we’d finished packing the house, I stood in my kitchen and cried a little bit because I was so sad. My Dad had to give me a hug.

It was the ampersand that triggered me.

On one of the shelves in our living room, we had these black-painted, wooden “J & A” ornaments. When Alice moved out, she took the A with her, leaving me in the house with the J and the &.

Today, Dad put the two remaining ornaments in a box, but I didn’t need both. Because having a set of ornaments that only said “J &…” is perhaps the most saddest thing in the entire world. Because there’s now nothing to follow the &. There’s not a second initial connected to the first by logogram. The & is now useless to me, so I threw it away.

I wanted to throw them both away, but I didn’t. I kept the J, but the & is gone, because so is the A.

Three. Two. One.

Honestly, I’d never given much thought to our decorative ornaments before today — except for the decorative towels, those often confused me. But those little additions are what made our home, our home. Like the photo I took of Zagreb train station that Alice had printed on canvas for us. Or the vinyl record of Anthony Head as Frank-N-Furter that I always hated but never had the desire to take down.

Those will soon be gone too. Either in the same direction as the ampersand, or somewhere else. It doesn’t matter anymore, I guess. Because we’re not an ampersand any more. We’re just two initials. She took her A, and I have my J.

Until tomorrow, the & is gone.


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