Notes From (Just Before) the (Now?) End of the Road

I have neglected this. Consider it part one.

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The whole move started with rain. It was a sign, much as it was in Biblical times (if you believe in that sort of thing), that there was a cleansing coming. Or that God was pissed. Or something.

It rained and it rained. Omens. Portents. Soggy things.

In the weeks preceding the move, I spent much of my time either putting things into boxes or going out for drinks with various colleagues. I only went in small groups because if the group got larger than five, there was was no way to avoid having the same guilt-ridden "you're leaving us behind" conversation which would have killed the entire buzz. But I made sure to pack. The plan was to have everything boxed and ready to go two days prior to the move. I stayed on track.

What could go wrong?

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The rain followed me from there to here. Halfway in between, at the point where I would most likely have to pull the truck over to feed my dog, it rained like Tammy Faye's tear ducts on losing the mansion.

The food for the pup was in the back of the truck, and so there was no way to keep from opening it. I had been hoping to park the truck beside an 18-wheeler to steal a little shelter from the elements. I could do it, if I got lucky, because I was towing my car behind and that meant the only spots for me would be ones for large vehicles. One of the few advantages of driving the big truck with the car behind is that parking is rarely a problem because truckers really only stop when they need more amphetamines, so I figured I'd have good luck.

Pulling through, around the outside, I could see a spot that would be perfect....naturally, some idiot in a Lexus SUV had taken the spot and parked dead center in it, so there was no way for me to pull in.

And thus, no shelter from the storm.

As I opened the back of the truck, a box fell out. The one with my photos, of course. It'd been put to the back so nothing heavy would go on top of it, but the load had shifted.

This was in no way surprising. Looking to the heavens, I issued a quiet fuck you, quieter than the day before. Even fury wears down over time.

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The plan went like this: I was getting good money to move, and I was going to take advantage. It's part of why I took this job over the other, honestly. They were going to help pay my move. I know times are hard and all, but honestly, if you're going to move hundreds or thousands of miles, if they can't kick in a little bit of something to help out, do you really want to be there? And when you've moved as many times as I have, often almost entirely on my own, the prospect of someone paying to help is so exciting one could wet themselves.

I got lucky this go-round. They were giving me enough that I actually found myself struggling to try and spend a significant portion of it. I don't have a lot of things. When I moved in with the roommate way back when, I got rid of most of my furniture. All I really kept was the stuff for the bedroom, the boxes of books, and my photos.

I was going to do the packing. And the driving. But I'd worked it out so that I wouldn't have to actually lift, unhook, or load anything if I didn't want to. Take a look around you right now. Imagine picking all that stuff up, ordering it in a truck. Now imagine someone else could do it for you. You'd jump at the chance if you had to move. Some of you are drooling right now, if you have any sense. It's a dream to have someone else do the moving. It's the blue collar equivalent of the joy some folks get of having children but paying someone else to raise them.

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Two hours into having the uHaul, and the loaders haven't shown. I'm too hands on to have let it go without me loading some things, but still.

I call. No answer. I leave a message. I have two hours until I have to go and get the trailer hooked up, the car loaded, so that I'll have some time to clean and still hit the road in the evening after traffic has died down.

I call again.

No answer.

I'm not going to make my deadline, and I've crafted this carefully. It should take about two hours for all of us to load my things. My roommate's gone for the afternoon so as to be out of the way. The dog is in the crate, anxious as he's been for about a week. If I don't get on the road tonight, everything goes out the window. I'll miss my unloading time. I'll miss getting the keys to the apartment.

The first drops of rain begin to fall. So, too, the first round of cursing.

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The loaders never show. They never call back. They never call. I leave one final message, containing every curse word in every language that I know.

It is, I conclude. one final kick in the pants from a place that's made a hobby of it over the past four years. And so, I begin to load in the pouring rain.

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I load into the night, when the rain allows. I sleep on the floor in my sleeping bag, or I try to. During the night, my dog paces the room nervously.

In the morning, when I finish, just as I'm loading the pup into the cab, my roommate tells me he wants to change the big-talk plan we'd agreed to a month ago about the apartment. We were sure the landlord would give us none of our deposit back, as they'd been - much like the loaders - quite conversant at finding ways to screw us over the last year. And so we were going to do a minimum of cleaning. But no.

I close the door on the pup, and prepare to walk to my side, when he asks if I can come back in and help him clean.

I stare in a way I hope is inclined towards blankly. He's been a good roommate, and it would be a shame to end that by killing him with my words. Or my hands. The blank look fails.

"I'll just clean. But I should get more of the deposit back if they give us any back."

Fine.

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Other than the rain and being 12 hours late, having missed all the appointments I'd set up, the drive itself is uneventful. My dog is good in the car, and having his head to scratch and my own music on the radio helps immensely.

And so, I arrive at the new job. To be continued...

Comments

4 Responses to “Notes From (Just Before) the (Now?) End of the Road”
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Brigindo said...

Wow. That is quite the moving story. I've only hired movers once in my life and it wasn't the joyous experience I had always thought it would be.

July 14, 2009 at 9:16 AM
Sisyphus said...

it rained like Tammy Faye's tear ducts on losing the mansion.

you win a prize, for that line alone.

I hope the rest of the unpacking and moving and stuff goes well!

July 14, 2009 at 11:44 AM
ash said...

oh, how i have missed you! this was worth the wait!

July 14, 2009 at 8:28 PM
profacero said...

We are waiting for the segue with bated breath.

Moving. I have figured out never to do UHaul. Have a moving company that both loads and drives.

The problem is that you have to pay them cash ... a bad problem unless they can invoice your university.

But. Having moving expenses paid is not all it is cracked up to be. If you can get that $ into your salary base instead, it becomes a gift that keeps on giving.

My dissertation director said that and I said but then how do I get the cash to move? I was right but then so was ze.

August 22, 2009 at 2:53 AM