Marie Kondolences

Frank Cimatu
Marie Kondolences
Poet and book hoarder Frank Cimatu imagines how Ms Japan Death Clearing would treat him and his thousands of volumes

I did not watch Marie Kondo because I don’t have Netflix. Yes, baby, I have not been watching TV for years now, except for football. Sometimes basketball and sumo. Sometimes news. Other than that, I stopped watching TV. 

I’m always in hotels, and if I’m alone I don’t bother turning on the TV even for the white noise. 

I have no reason other than I’m tired of TV. And now they’re saying they are stealing data on you. What data, I don’t care. 

So I don’t watch Netflix and I’m not crazy over the fight between Ms Japan Death Clearing and bibliophiles. 

I have her book and I read the part about books, and the first thing she advised was: lay them all down on the floor!

The one she said that to was a woman with 3 large ceiling-height bookshelves full of books. So the she was aghast at the work she had to do. 

Kondo’s reason was that books are usually arranged in bookshelves so that their titles are hardly visible. (Yes, I’m nearsighted. I know) But Kondo said this step is essential, no matter how heavy the  books are. Her reason is that you wouldn’t recognize all your books, which means you wouldn’t know what will – everybody now – spark joy. 

She said the answer would not be apparent if you just look at them individually in the bookshelves. You have to take them out, put them on the floor, and ask the book themselves: do you spark joy?

“We can stimulate out belongings by physically moving them, exposing them to fresh air, and making them ‘conscious.’Uy, gusto ko na siya. 

She said you have to touch them. The criterion is, of course, whether or not it gives you a thrill or pleasure when you touch it. 

No reading, she said. It clouds your judgment daw. It’s not a question of how the book feels to you, it is asking whether you need the book. 

Maygad! Some of the goods, I retained because of the memories behind them. Like this book I bought in Recto among the bangketas there. I don’t need it now. But, as I touched it, I reached for my huge Wipeout and started cleaning it. I remembered how I laughed at its wit then. It wasn’t as witty now. 

Then this book with a dilapidated cover. I bought this in Alemar’s in Sta Cruz. The bookstore isn’t there now, but I used to prefer it to the then-modern National Bookstore. You have to pass through a long hall and then leave your things at the guard and buy the books. They were cheaper than National and much weirder. Many of the books I bought in Alemar’s I long gave away. This is among the last. 

So I got the Wipeout and also cleaned this one. A friend taught me to use Wipeout instead of rubbing alcohol. He also used fine sandpaper to smooth the edges. But I wouldn’t go that far.

Yes, Book 2 out of 2,000 perhaps. This will take a long time, Marie Kondo.

“I stand in front of the mound of books they have piled on the floor and clap my hands, or I gently stroke the book covers,” she wrote. 

“Although my clients look at me strangely at first, they are inevitably surprised at how quickly and precisely they are able to choose after this.”

Ha ha ha ha! I don’t know how she will treat me then, still on to my 3rd book and already on the verge of a nervous breakdown. – 

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