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the weight of things

since i do my grocery shopping on a bike and live in a fourth-floor walk-up, i have to think about the weight of things. water weighs the most, and so bottles of liquid (milk, juice, wine, beer, mineral water) are the heaviest things, followed by produce that contains a lot of water (melons, oranges, onions, cauliflower, cabbage) and then maybe canned things and things like detergents. rice and flour and things like that are dense, but you don’t usually buy a lot of them at once. of course, probably the heaviest thing i haul up the stairs to my apartment several times a day is me, a human thing, a 160lb sack of water. other things i carry up my eight flights of stairs include things i buy at stores, things i eat at restaurants, things i order that arrive in the mail, and things like the various rocks and sticks collected by my son. all of these things have a particular weight, from the couch we bought on the internet hauled upstairs by two very angry delivery men, to the burrito i ate for lunch. what i think about is: what is the net weight at any given moment of the things in my life, at the top of all those stairs. groceries go up, but they don’t stay up. we eat the food, drink the water, use the energy, flush the waste, haul the packaging downstairs and place it in the dumpster. +10, -9.5, or something to that effect. you would have to weigh everything that went up and everything that went down. weigh the groceries, weigh the garbage. weigh the new clothes purchased, weigh the excrement flushed down through the toilet. life would have a balance that exists in a daily rhythm. every morning the apartment gets ~350lbs lighter as the family leaves and every evening it gets ~350lbs heavier as we return. little spikes or gains when we bring home food, which is then gradually eaten and flushed and turned to garbage. permanent spikes in the weight of our lives when we bring home new objects we have purchased, furniture, houseplants, a crate for a dog, a fire safe for precious documents. the occasional big drop with a spring cleaning or a huge temporary drop with a bed bug emergency. but probably the net weight of all the things creeps up gradually over the years through all the noise as we find new ways to pack things in the corners of closets and put things under beds and hang things on walls. probably as our own net weight creeps upward as well, soft middle age slipping comfortably on. i don’t know tho, this is usually where i stop thinking about it because eventually the steady and comfortable rise in the total net weight of all the things might suddenly stop, plummet, and stay down, and the up and down rhythms all stop, and i know this could happen for a variety of reasons, but most of them are sad, so let’s just say it’s because we move to a home with front porch and a nice fireplace and no stairs to make me think about the weight of things.