What can I say about moving? Moving sucks. Moving out of a seven room apartment into two rooms at your aging parents house sucks ass. Moving when you’re nearing fifty, when you have a family emergency that gives you little time to plan and no money to hire movers sucks weasel ass. Having to quit your job, throw out over half of your stuff, and drag everything down three flights of stairs sucks rabid weasel ass.
Funny thing, when you’re nearly fifty, all your friends are nearly fifty too, and regardless of acts of god or family emergencies, very few are willing to help you move. Who can blame them? Folks my age are supposed to be able to take care of these things themselves, not beg for friends to help like some fresh-faced college graduate moving to where their first job is.
And maybe that used to be true for most folks. But in a society where minimum wage is so far below the poverty line that companies can get away with paying “skilled labor” ten bucks an hour, it’s not surprising that folks like me, working in the not-for-profit sector, don’t have wads of cash saved up for a sudden change of address.
Moving starts out with neatly labeled boxes that say specific things like “Top drawer of big bookcase, office supplies and important papers.” Then, the last couple days, come boxes that say things like, “Baking dishes, books, and sweaters.” The last box somehow got labeled “stuff.” Lord knows what’s in that one.
I think what did us in, my heroic fiancé and I, is that by the time we got to the last two days, where we just had to clear the bathroom and kitchen and clean, we were already so exhausted. I had been working and then packing and moving things on the weekends for months. Brian had been packing and doing the lion’s share of the heavy lifting, carrying most of our boxes of books down all those stairs. The last weekend was the big truck, moving furniture and stuff we hadn’t gotten up north and into storage already. Brian and our blessed friend Rich moved the furniture. Rich’s daughters and my darling friend Rachel moved the stuff. I made few trips down the stairs that day. I had sprained my ankle. Brian and I got quite a few injuries during that last month.
Then the drive north to try to cram what things I kept into two rooms. Two rooms that had not been cleared of my parents things. Did I mention that not only did I have to pack and move my entire life, but I also had to pack up, rearrange, and clear the rooms we were moving into? I managed to get the computer and pet room cleared before truck day, but our bedroom still has things of my mother’s in it. Truck day was hard, and there was a big pause between when the computer room things got put in, and when I could get enough of the bedroom cleared to get our stuff into it.
Through it all, a feeling of loss and insecurity. Going through the extensive book collection with an iron fist and axing at least a third of it, because we know there’s not enough room. Just throwing away 90% of my kitchen things, because there’s no place for them to live in my mother’s kitchen. Refusing to get rid of my pretty red tea kettle, even though I know my mom already has one and it’s stupid to have two.
Then the last day hits. Brian doesn’t understand why cleaning the kitchen is taking so long, but I know the landlords are going to want that fridge they bought us spotless, inside and out. Me not understanding why Brian is taking so long on the floors, because they are so old and crappy that no amount of elbow grease is going to make them look good. And they don’t. The floors haven’t been refinished in around thirty years, and the carpet is from the 70’s. They looked like crap when we moved in 16 years ago.
The last day hits, and we’re already exhausted. Everything takes longer than it should. I throw most of the kitchen away, but we still have to lug it down to the trash. Everything must go, whether we are keeping it or not. I wake up at 7am that day and start work. At 7am the next day, we are still finishing up. I’ve had a 2 hour nap, and thrown up once. At 7:30, as the alley vultures begin digging through the things we’ve put out near the trash and throwing things willy-nilly into the back of a pickup truck, Brian and I stuff 3 cats, 2 ferrets, and a 10 gallon aquarium into our cars and begin the two hour drive to my parent’s house. I swerve once on the trip. No idea why except that I’m exhausted. I almost hit a semi-truck, and the fish aquarium sloshes so badly that I’m afraid the fish have sloshed right out. I’m not coherent enough to actually stop the car and look, or maybe I’m afraid of what I’ll find, but for the next hour I can’t get my mind off of the fish, and almost swerve again trying to see them in the backseat. They’re fine, by the way. We all made it. I don’t know how. We had no business driving, but where does one stay with three cats, two ferrets, and two goldfish?
We survived. We couldn’t walk right for a few days because knees were never built to do that many stairs in so short a time, but we made it. We were so exhausted that for the first week, doing anything made us tired. A trip to the grocery was an ordeal. Our two rooms are still mostly full of boxes that we haven’t had the will to unpack, but that will come in time. Today, when my mom needed minor surgery, I was right here to take her and look out for her after. When my dad can’t find something because he can’t see it, I’m right here to help him.
Monday I start a new job. Overhire at the IRT costume shop. It’s full time for a month, and then off until they need me again. That is both awesome and terrifying. I’m used to working all the time. All the time! But with four adults in the house to pay for things, I don’t have to work full time. That means I’ll have time to look after my folks and the house, and time for my writing too. That part is awesome. The part where I’m not full time and have no benefits scares the pee out of me, but I’m willing to try it. I just signed the contract for the first short story I sold to Xiaoduo Media, and I want to have more time to do things like that. The house has a yard, so next year I’ll have a garden and be able to grow some tomatoes.
So moving sucks rabid weasel ass, and change is a wanton bitch, but rather than get bitch-slapped down, I think I’ll hang out and see what happens.
Writing has been on the back burner for a couple of months, but just today, I started itching to get Wyrd House finished up, so hopefully there will be an update there soon. And Ghost in the Park’s exclusive read is up with one agent, and just got sent to an agent that requested if during the exclusive and has been waiting for it. An agent I am really interested in. So fingers crossed!