Yesterday I broke out my well-honed trundling skills again. I don't know why I do this to myself. I hate moving. I probably could have afforded movers this time. But I did it myself anyway, in the interest of getting it done immediately so I can focus on my work as soon as possible. (Well, 83% myself; A hundred hugs to my friend Charlie, who helped me load up the van on trip #1!) Even though I had the van for ten hours, and even though I was making a series of fifteen- and thirty-minute drives, I still had to call to extend my rental, so in the end I had the thing from 10 am to 11:30 pm, barely stopping to eat. And today my body is achy all over and in a permanently clenched posture.
I did it in three trips: Trip #1 was out to Clinton Hill in Brooklyn to pick up my stuff that had been in storage since the end of March. Some of it turned out to be too moldy to salvage, but the DVDs and most of the boardgames are all right. (I hadn't played Trumpet in years anyway.) Haven't checked the TV yet. I assume it works, but I can tell you one thing: it ain't pretty no more. I might have to retouch its scar-scraped edges with a bit of nail polish. Do they make Large Appliance Gray? (The big surprise in Brooklyn: I got there at 11:30 and discovered that there was no parking, and cars were two deep on one side of the street for street cleaning. Oh, right, I thought; it's crazy shit like that that's why I got rid of my car in the first place. That cost me an hour of bafflement and redeployment right there.)
Trip #2 was to Ikea. It's an odd thing: since I've been a professional houseguest for years now--I left all my little amenities, like plates and forks and such, back in Tallahassee and have had well-heeled roommates and community cookware ever since--I actually had a chance to rebuild everything from the ground up. I still don't have a cooking knife (I want a good one), no plates (didn't like Ikea's options) and no salt and pepper shakers (I want something fun)...but everything else is pretty well taken care of, and I can even entertain up to five other people. Probably you'll all have to stand, though, and sign a release promising to engage in loud conversation any time someone steps into the bathroom.
The worst part of that foray was when I got back to my place and there was, for the only time all day, no place to park nearby, and I was alone. I was obliged to drag my purchases, one by one, across the concrete for a block and a half. Most survived okay, but my wardrobe was tall and weighed 76 pounds, and the pressure on the cardboard box was just too great. I hurled an old shirt underneath; I dragged newspapers along; nothing survived the shredding, including my wardrobe. In the end, the entire box simply shattered a few steps from my doorway, and I wound up bringing the fucking thing in in piece by piece, leaving the pile of shrapnel outside on the sidewalk. I doubt anything's missing, though, unless one of my new neighbors is a disposable-Allen-wrench fancier.
Trip #3 was to Jersey City, where my exercise bike has been cooling its odometer since the end of April or so. The surprise there was simple: I got lost trying to get to Holland Tunnel, and somehow managed to travel down West Broadway until it flipped as I crossed an intersection and turned into a one-way street charging straight at me. (Interesting fact: you can get ticketed for talking on your cell phone while driving in New York City. Which means that if there's no place to park, you actually have to travel quite some time before you can find a place to pull over and call your friend to say "There's no place to park." Ditto if you get lost. Since I got lost about three times, I lost precious minutes on my meter just from finagling a way to call someone with Mapquest.)
Still needed: a window air-conditioning unit. Until then I won't really feel comfortable in my new place. Does anyone know how people buy these things without breaking their backs? Do air conditioning places deliver? Or are they lighter than they look? (I'm thinking of investing in a dolly and some bungee cord. But of course, then comes the problem of storage...)
I will say this, though. As beaten and smashed as I feel today, as horrified as I know I'm going to be when I survey the strewn wreckage (I'm still at Tracy's for the moment), there's one spot of hope: the first piece of mail arrived in my name at the apartment, and it turns out to be a book I ordered--The Most of S.J. Perelman, a classic collection by my favorite humorist. There could not be a happier omen.
Labels: Dave Update