The cats were hiding and wouldn't come out. The living room was full of furniture stacked akimbo. There was nowhere to sit but for the two lawn chairs I'd put outside. We were bloodied and bruised and filthy and exhausted.
But we were home.
This had all started weeks ago when somebody, let's say it was Vicky, got it into their head that we should move in together. And so, we'd begun packing and packing, donating to Goodwill, and just plain throwing shit out. We picked the worst possible weekend to move. I mean, no hurricanes were zeroing in on us but the air was so thick there might as well have been one. God, it was humid! It was already pretty ugly at 9am Saturday when I went to Vicky's apartment to help her move her stuff. The weather caused us to take frequent breaks... which, I suppose, was not a bad thing. Around noon or so, Paula and Don showed up to help, so Don and I got to move the heavy stuff.... joy. Vicky's desk, having been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, had to be taken apart... several times... and, so, we had to wait. But, by 5pm, bruised and achy, we were (more or less) finished. And I went home.
Mind you, none of this would have been accomplished without Sean. Sean Deyo never reads My Side but, nonetheless, deserves to be mentioned because I am so thankful for him. He got me a dolly from his work. (I must be tired. I'm using phrases as grammatically tenuous as "his work".) It could be extended/opened/changed into many different positions and orientations. It was a Transformer; that's what it was!
Sean showed up Sunday morning, too, to help me move my stuff. Yes, Saturday was Vicky's day - Sunday was mine... or so I thought.
When Sean came to my door at 8am Sunday morning, I had been up for an hour already. I hadn't gone to bed until 3:30am, either - I just couldn't sleep. I was like a kid at Christmas and had spent half the night packing more boxes. What else was I going to do? My TV was disconnected as well as my PC! I asked Sean if we could stop off and get some food - my apartment has had food in days - but, he said, he'd just come from eating. "And you didn't take me?!"
"I didn't know you'd be up," he replied, rather defensively.
So, we got in his car and headed to the U-Haul place to get the truck. "Let's see," he said, "you've got to move the wall unit, the bed, boxes." A look of shock came over his face, the look of someone who'd forgotten their colostomy bag.... or something equally as necessary. "I forgot the cat carriers!!" Cat carriers... for carrying cats... do their doom if you asked them. Well, Sean dropped me off at the U-haul place and drove to his house to get the cat carriers. We met back at my apartment. Shortly, Vicky and Jeff showed up. Jeff is an old friend of Vicky's... he's very tall, green, and says "Ho! Ho! Ho!" all the time when his friend, Sprout, talks to him. Okay, maybe he's not that tall but he's got to be half a foot taller than me, easily. Vicky was there to get the refrigerator dolly that I'd picked up, so she was gone soon. Then, it was moving time, with the mechanical precision that comes with three guys moving. Basically, we took a lot of smoke breaks.
At one point, Jeff and I were loading things onto the truck - Sean was in the apartment - and Jennifer came out. Ah, Jennifer... my lesbian neighbor... When I first moved in, I'd figured I would date her eventually... but that whole "lesbian" thing kind of got in the way. Still, there's always been a little sexual tension between us. (Just let me have that.) She approached me with a slightly sad, slightly inquisitive look on her face. I smiled a little. "I haven't seen you in a while. I'm moving."
"Oh," she said. "Where to?"
"Oh. Will you still be at Linksys?"
"Oh, sure. Turns out we're right next door to you." Jennifer works at Blizzard Entertainment and got me in the World of Warcraft alpha and beta tests.
"Oh, then maybe I'll still see you around."
"Maybe," I said.
Suddenly, she threw herself at me. "No! I can't let you go! Don't you see? All that we've gone through can't be without meaning! What about Paris? What about the twins? What about all the promises you made?"
"Get your filthy paws off'a ma man, be-otch!" Vicky shouted, jumping on the roof of a nearby car... it was a small car. "We is gettin' hitched and no oversexed lesbian is gonna stop that!"
"He's mine," Jennifer shouted, approaching Vicky. "You can't take him away from me!"
"There's only one way we're gonna settle this," Vicky said. "That is to fight it out - NINJA STYLE!"
And so, there was this cat fight between Jennifer and Vicky as Jeff and I sat on the truck's bumper, eating popcorn.
... Okay. After I said, "Maybe," she walked to her car and left... it would have been better the other way.
By noon, we had the truck loaded and, heading out on to the freeway, I wondered how fast you could take a turn in a fully-loaded U-haul.
Pretty fast, as it turns out.
Sean had to be at work at 1:30pm, so once we pulled up at the apartment, we started unloading the truck.
Now, Vicky would probably rather I didn't tell you about this. Vicky would probably rather I shut the hell up. But Vicky has this quirk - she won't allow anything to come into the apartment until she's dusted it first. This made it very slow going. What made it worse was that her dad was working on running a water line to her fridge (which we hadn't moved yet)... and, so, we had to wait (You notice that we didn't have wait on my stuff!) Sean and I unloaded the truck onto the sidewalk and he took off. Jeff and I moved as much of that close to the apartment as possible but couldn't move too much - we needed room for the fridge.
And then, we waited some more.
Jeff and I sat and smoked.
And then, we waited.
Finally, the fridge could be moved. Imagine three fully grown (and, in some cases, more so) men struggling to move a fridge across a complex (remember, it was the same complex she lived in), and you begin to see why Professional Movers exist.
We got the fridge into the apartment... and then we waited.
Jeff and I sat and smoked.
And then, we waited some more.
Vicky got some beer from a neighbor. Jeff and I sat and smoked.
And then, we waited longer
Finally, the fridge was done. (In all honesty, her dad was great to do this. He's a terrific guy and I really like. It was all Vicky's fault for needing a fridge that dispenses ice. In our next home, I'm getting her a mildly cool rag to put her food on AND THAT'S IT!) Jeff and I moved the remainder of my belonging inside in less than a half hour - dusted or not!
That was around 3pm and I had to return the truck. Jeff followed me so he could take me home for my car... and more boxes. (I HATE boxes!) Maybe he could tell I was tired. Maybe watching me break several traffic laws on the way back gave him some idea. I don't know. All I know is that, when I saw down in his car, having returned the truck, he had the AC on, he handed me a cig, and gave me the lighter. Basically, I love Jeff.
Back to my apartment I went, a shell of it's former glory. Let's review here. This was where I had my nervous breakdown, where I sleepwalked, nightmared, plotted suicide, tried to get back together with Rosa, dated DeAnna, wrote Everything Changes, Atheists, Whatever Happened to Me, and so much else! This was where I hit bottom and where I lifted myself back up again. My home for more than four years... and boy did it look like crap. I stuffed two boxes full of stuff and was on my way.
Now, I hadn't eaten yet... all day. In fact, it had been nearly 24 hours since my last meal. I wouldn't say I was running on fumes - the fumes were gone long ago! So, I drove to Carl's Jr and I ordered - yes, I know, just understand I was really tired and really hungry - burgers for Vicky and I.
We ate them on lawn chairs I brought, out on our porch. It would have been impossible to eat inside. It was a big, fat, ugly mess but it was ours. We were home.