The apartment is getting bigger. With the removal of each piece of furniture, I can see more wall, more floor, more corners than I used to see. Yesterday I took a full length mirror out of the bedroom and spent the rest of the evening glancing in astonishment at the wall that no longer bore my reflection.
We are finally getting closer to The Shift when we will move all the major pieces of our life up to the new house and start living at the new address. Today I moved dishes, pots and pans, small appliances like the Kitchen Aid and Cuisinart; the things that I could say with some certainty that we wouldn’t be using between now and Saturday. I haven’t really started thinking about it yet, but we are getting to the point of beginning the “Lasts”: the last time we will cook at the apartment, the last time we will watch TV here, the last time I will go running on my usual route. Today I picked up my last dry cleaning. Tomorrow I will need to return my last library book and pay my last overdue fee. As anxious as I am for all of this to be over, I’m a little bit sorry that I’m not spending more time acknowledging the Lasts.
I seem to be coping by reading articles about death that make me cry: the article about a family friend who got lost on the Appalachian Trail, the article about a girl in California who elected to take advantage of the state’s new End of Life Option Act instead of languishing with terminal ALS. You would think that all these articles would make me feel sad- especially considering the crying- but somehow I feel better afterwards. I suppose they offer some perspective: this isn’t really the end, it’s just the end of a chapter. I can already begin to see my new life taking shape- I suppose that helps too. I’m certainly less overwhelmed.
So that’s something.
It was nearly noon before I got around to loading the van, so I went ahead and hosed myself down with sunscreen before doing anything else. I wonder what it is like to not spend every moment in direct sunlight mentally counting down until the burn. I really do. What is it like to just go outside, no matter the weather, no matter that cover? To wear sleeveless shirts? To lie out on a beach or beside a pool? I’m told that the payoff will be that my sun-protected skin will look younger longer. I’m just vain enough to hope it is true, but goddamn, it’s a lot of work.
My approach to moving-house has shifted slightly: now that the house is clean I’m starting to bring up the smaller furniture pieces and put them directly into the rooms they will occupy instead of just bringing up boxes and storing everything in the workshop. This has two advantages: first that it allows me to see progress as the apartment empties out and second that it allows me to see progress as the house fills up. I’m no longer just packing in the apartment, I’m now also unpacking at the house. So maybe I’m starting to get a little perspective.
I’m also getting a sense of just how much dust has accumulated behind some of these furniture pieces that haven’t moved in the entire time we’ve lived here. While removing the upper half of a hutch, I accidentally lowered it past a box fan which launched a squadron of airborne dust-bunnies across the bedroom. I’m forcing myself to make an effort to wipe everything down before bringing it to the new place: no sense in moving the dust with me.
So my mood towards moving has somewhat improved. I can’t help but think that the uptick in my mood corresponds directly to the fact that the piles of boxes has finally been diminished to the point where I can see floor again. It’s the little victories. The only down side to such a productive day is that tomorrow I will need to get creative in finding the next load of things to pack. But at least it feels like progress.
I can’t wait for this moving business to be over. How can I have made so many trips across the city and still not seem to have made any progress? The living room is still full of boxes. Somehow it seems to be more full than it was this morning. If I escaped getting a sunburn then it will be a miracle: I just couldn’t stand to spray myself down with sunscreen today. It was one of those days where everything that I needed was on the bottom of the stack and everything on the top of the stack was heavy. If it could be dropped it got dropped. If it could get twisted it got twisted. The cats got out. The keys got off the key ring. The flies got in- the apartment is now full of flies. And boxes.
It was just one of those days.
The more things went wrong, the angrier I got. The angrier I got the more things went wrong. An accumulation of small annoyances. I’m just so tired of this. I never seem to make any progress. I made a specific effort to bring up several pieces of furniture today so that I could (presumably) see a change in the apartment, but it doesn’t seem to have helped much.
I got home with high intentions of boxing up a bunch of stuff but only managed to fill about two of them before getting too tired to continue. I laid down, hoping to sleep, but never managed to fall asleep deeply enough to get any real rest. But I couldn’t muster up the energy to get up, either, so I just laid there like a dud for an hour and a half wasting time.
So that’s all for today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
The cats wanted food at four in the morning. When I didn’t give it to them, they barfed up a hairball in protest. When I got up to clean it I put down food. They proceeded to barf that up as well in retribution. I decided that I would clean this up later when it was, you know, daylight. For the next hour I lay very still counting backwards from one hundred over and over again and trying to focus on my breathing so that I didn’t have to focus on the fact that I still haven’t found a job and the crushing weight of the increasing sense of failure associated with that. The cats proceeded to scratch on every surface in the bedroom until I gave up and got up for the day in a foul mood.
So the day was not off to a stellar start.
We took another load of belongings up to the new house and managed to clear out our storage locker, so we counted that as progress and went home to take a nap. The kid upstairs stomped on the floor the whole time and someone slammed their car door six or seven times outside the window before a different car’s car alarm went off for two minutes before anybody shut it off. And the cats scratched some more, this time discovering that humans have a lot better aim when they have their contacts in and it is daylight.
I went out for a run, but it was a struggle. I wish I could say that it made me feel better, but I felt pretty much the same afterwards as I had before I’d gone out, only sweatier. Which was disappointing, but I suppose there has to be some trade off for the good ones- I just wish that if I was going to have a shitty run that I could have it on a better day. But that’s life for you.