I just moved a few weeks ago. The whole experience induced brain-exploding misery and exhaustion, but I did get a few stories out of it, which I guess is one of the good things that comes out of moving. Here are some things I remember about the times I’ve moved during my life:
1. When I was in kindergarten, we moved from an apartment to a house. Before we actually moved, my brother, sister and I walked through the house with our parents. There was an old Italian couple living there with their adult son. The only thing I remember was that the mom – in my memory, she looks like Strega Nona without the kerchief – was cooking meatballs in the dimly lit kitchen. When we moved in, our house smelled like a heady combination of grease and pure gasoline. It was February and we had to keep the windows open for a while.
2. Once, my parents moved without me. I wish the reason were more dramatic, but I was just at camp. And by camp I mean hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains with ten or so other ninth graders, but that’s a story for another day. The last time I drove away from that house, on my way to the airport, I forgot to look back at it one last time, which I felt very badly about while I was away. I’m a very sentimental person and it seemed important that I gaze upon the hydrangea bushes I hid in during so many games of manhunt, not to mention the Japanese maple with a hidden fire ant population I discovered when I still liked to climb trees and the house’s red bricks that I so hoped would one day become covered in ivy a la Madeline. But when I got home, I realized that taking one last look didn’t matter. Our new house was only, oh, ten blocks away. In the past ten years, I’ve gotten to take a lot of last looks. (FYI, our old house looks like a piece of shit now.)
3. My mom helped me move into my apartment before my senior year of college. This turned out to be a good thing, because I didn’t have a car or any real help. Also, I needed someone to help me get the free bed frame and mattress a friend who had graduated had given me from the maze of a basement in Evanston, Illinois where she had stored it. It turned out that someone had glued this free Ikea bed frame together. It was particularly difficult to move. It also fell apart more than once. But hey, it was free.
4. When I moved to Manhattan two years ago, it was super easy. My mom, my brother and I packed up two cars and got everything into the apartment easy peasy. But my roommates didn’t move in for a few days so I was really just left with a bunch of pieces of furniture. No TV, no internet, no plates or tables. Or utensils. My first night, my friend Emmet brought me a housewarming gift of two wine glasses and two bottles of wine that we promptly drank. He also brought me a marble cheese board. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t eat meals of cheese off of that piece of marble for days.
5. My friend dropped my air conditioner out of my bedroom window whilst helping me move out of my old apartment last month. There was no harm done, except to the air conditioner, which broke into four pieces. Luckily, the person who formerly lived in my new room left behind a tiny, thirty year-old air conditioner, secured to the window with a few strips of painter’s tape.
6. After approximately twelve non-consecutive hours of moving, while waiting to take one of approximately sixteen trips in a U-Haul and then in a Prius to move stuff from one apartment to another, a bird shit on my shoulder and a little bit on my face. I didn’t care. My arms were too tired to wipe it off.
7. I’m so tired of thinking about moving that I can’t tell you anything more about it. I’m content to put it be hind me for a while as soon as I finish writing this sentence.