**Warning: Not about anything important in the world, mostly self-pitying**
Oh you guys.
You have no idea how lucky you have it, you with your “normal hands and feet” and your “ability to sit down for more than ten minutes at a time.” You with your “six-plus hours of sleep a night.” You with your “habitable place to live.”
I have seen my vision of Hell, and it is moving.
Not just moving, of course. I’ve done that. Take the frustration of moving, and now add these grab-bag items:
-A case of scabies (yes it is disgusting. No I do not know how I got it. No I am not contagious. Yes it is healing) with painful, itchy bites entirely covering the most sensitive parts of your body. Mind out of the gutter–I mean the soles of your feet and palms/fingertips of your hands. Amplify until everything you touch and every step you take feels like someone is stabbing you with needles.
-A van that you realize upon pickup is too small
-An apartment full of furniture and theatre-person things–records, costumes, makeup, framed posters
-A day of work before you can start moving out
-Having to get everything out of your old apartment on the 31st
-Not being allowed to move things to your new apartment til the 1st
-A new apartment that’s a third-story walk-up
…and you’ll start to have an idea of the last two days of my life.
I have to say, and I’ll say it now and say it often: I actually literally could not have done this without my friends. Rob, Francesca, and the two Alexes saved me and Harrison. Point blank. They are human saints.
Even with help, though, I was in pain from moment one (really from moment several-days-before) and forcing myself to be in the moment in order to keep from completely breaking down.
Laura, you say, why didn’t you prepare more? Friend, I say: I was VERY PREPARED and this still happened.
When move time came around, my kitchen was all packed and cleaned except for what was drying on the dish rack, my bathroom was set, my closets were almost completely packed, I’d spackled the walls, I’d wrapped everything fragile in packing paper, I’d packed everything in my dresser and from my desk and had thrown out everything I didn’t want or need. All the remained was a few clothes and blankets and a stack or two of books, and I had boxes for them.
I think the moral of the story is: When choosing a moving van, always go bigger than you think you need.
What is it about putting things into boxes that seems to exponentially increase the amount of crap you have? I know it’s because you can’t fill all the boxes completely, and that it also has to do with taking things out of their containers in order to move the containers that would otherwise be too heavy. Still–I was merciless in throwing things away or donating them. I do not understand how I still have so much stuff.
We had to get everything down my elevators, into the UHaul or a car or…somewhere to wait, park the UHaul overnight, and THEN–this was the fun part–ferry all the rest of my stuff back and forth between my apartment and Harrison’s old apartment, using only his mid-sized sedan.
We knew we were in trouble when the sun started to come up and we still had at least one load.
So around 6am, after having thrown away everything we could stand, we decided to leave a carload of belongings in my old lobby with a sign on them that said, “Please do not touch, we will pick these up by 2pm.” Went to Harrison’s. Slept for two and a half hours. Woke up. Started again.
By the middle of Day Two, I was so dehydrated that downing an entire Vitamin Water in five minutes had no effect on the natural course of what happens when you drink water. My body sucked it up and refused to let it go as anything but sweat. Meanwhile I was walking at the speed of a 70-year-old because my feet were on fire. Walking that much for that long on feet that are covered with bites that are turning to blisters is not something I would recommend if you have a choice. I didn’t have a choice, so I tried not to complain.
By 6:45 pm, a few hours after we lost our second round of intrepid volunteers, Harrison and I had everything but two heavy pieces of furniture, a large TV, and several large boxes upstairs. We were soaked through with sweat. I could hardly walk. We both had places to be. So that’s where we stopped, because we actually could not keep going.
When I looked at my feet for the first time, all I could do was gape and call my parents to have them gape by proxy. Each toe was blistered on the bottom side with a blister roughly the size of the toe. To clarify–I had toes, and then I had toe-blisters on the surface of the toe…that were the same size as another toe. At this point my feet were essentially two large blisters.
So, how would you choose to celebrate the end of two rough days of moving? A beer? Some TV? A nice bath, a book, and an early bedtime?
Well, here’s how I ended my night.
Picture this scene: A young woman limps into a kitchen. She has a small object in her hand. She grabs a canvas folding chair, determines that the covering has slipped off the proper rods and that it will not hold her weight, and rejects it. She slowly makes her way over to another chair, pulls it next to the stove, and opens it, sitting as gently as she can. She turns on one of the stove burners–first “light,” then “high.” She opens her hand. We see that it is a push-pin–yellow, with the plastic backing shaped like a top hat.
The young woman holds the point of the push-pin to the flame of the stove, waiting until she sees it glow red. And then, tip still glowing, she lowers the pin to her feet, which we notice are covered in massive blisters.
I spent ten minutes lancing upward of twenty blisters, and all I can say about it is: Thank God that I did. It meant that when I woke up today, I could actually walk to the train. A few of the blisters remain or have come back, but they’re manageable. Which is good, because today is when the muscle strain and fatigue hits. I am reveling in the fact that I have an office job with internet and chairs and cold drinks. I am rejoicing in the frivolous, the silly, and the cute.
I am going to live in this apartment until I die.