Jesus and Mary Mother of God, I hate moving more than any other feasible and totally insane act of human nature. If I were born of a nomadic clan, then perhaps the act of dismantling everything that has encompassed the comforts of one’s life and packing them into boxes, bags, and other bubble-wrapped paraphernalia wouldn’t be so traumatizing. I mean, I lived in the same townhouse in Memphis for 6 years. I lived in our wonderfully quaint home in Pacifica (with an amazing ocean view, mind you) for 4 years. I like those solid comforts of being able to put something down and know that if it came up missing, that Christine was responsible. For the last two weeks, the items of utmost importance have been hidden away, saved for the final moments of insanity, and pushed into the dark musty confines of a recycled cardboard box. But now… I can’t begin to explain where anything is or is supposed to go. The writing on the boxes may say one thing but envelop something completely different. Shit, I used to throw away boxes after moving. Somehow I knew last time we played this unpacking game, that I needed to hang onto them… some spirit of the broken adult underworld tore through the ether and whispered, “Save them, you’re going to need them for the next move mwhahahahahaha! Hey, is that a single or a double malt? Really, I’m more of a Speyside man myself. Oh, gotta go. The wife is all pissed that I’m burning dinner. But seriously, the boxes…” And that’s how hoarding starts.
Currently I’ve set down keys, contracts, wallets, glasses, screwdrivers… anything of present and future importance and “POOF!” – gone. It might take me an hour to find that goddamn thing again. I’ll incorporate the wife and the dog on a mad search for these items… and they’re found, exactly where I left them… placed safely in a spot that i would remember and go to in my moment of need. The problem indeed, is the memory part. Let me break it down.
I’ve been packing and painting for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! I’ve been living in this purgatory of a half-lived / half-wrecked life. Then moving day, the day that we all dread. It’s a physical and emotional drain that can make grown men hovel, back spasm, and weep into the musty folds of a packing blanket. 5 hours of loading splintered fragments of my life… and if I didn’t have at least two decent friends, I would have broken down 10 minutes into the ordeal. I cannot thank Daniel and James enough for also being unemployed and taking the time to help a friend work through a breakup with San Francisco on a “It’s not you, it’s her” campaign. But fellas, “Thank you.”
So here I am, two days of massive physical labor, a 6 hour drive, pissing off my new neighbors, picking up a refrigerator (and lifting it up the stairs by mu-mucking self – almost as bad as that time I moved a piano down three flights), and driving all over Los Angeles in a 26 foot long U-Haul while ye olde Acura was in tow. Now we’re in the new digs, buried in boxes, I haven’t showered in three days or gotten more than 5 hours of sleep, and all I can think of is how I have to get some sleep or I may become the subject and catalyst of a David Lynch film based on a True Story.
I want a shower and a fresh pair of undergarments… but I have to find the box with the soap and whatnot in it… and then some underpants. I’m beginning to realize that I’ve taken a lot of simple complacent comforts for granted… like not having to smell your own rank. Maybe that’s just the family roots.