The big move was on Saturday. It was a long, stressful painful, process, and I’m so traumatized by it that I don’t yet feel excited by the fact that we have done it.
When the movers arrived at 8am, they didn’t inspire much confidence. There were only two of them, not three as promised. One was a scrawny teenager, the other an elderly man whom I thought at first was just the teenager’s dad or chauffeur. A third mover showed up an hour into the job, another scrawny teenager who wore an iPod the whole time and sang out loud while carrying things up and down our steps. About 45 minutes later he mysteriously disappeared, and we were told he had left for a “doctor’s appointment.” On a Saturday.
Actually, the other two turned out to be really nice, respectful, efficient guys, despite their odd couple appearance.
Nick had to be at work at 1pm, which meant he had to leave the house at about 12:30. Even though the movers were doing the heavy lifting, we were doing a lot of packing/organizing/tossing at the same time, which made it feel like we were in some sort of race. (This despite the fact that we’d been packing at night throughout the week, including the entire day before, and that we’d been up since 5am that morning.) By the time noon rolled around, there appeared to be just a few dribs and drabs of stuff left scattered about the house. We both thought I’d get it all together with a few more trips to my car and be done by 1:00. At the latest.
Not so fast. By the time I rounded up the last of the moving detritus–brooms, dust pan, packing tape guns, some pretty ceramic wall hooks I had to unscrew from the wall, but first had to borrow a screwdriver from the neighbor downstairs, who was also moving in that day, and oh, shit, did we forget about all the food in the fridge? and that we needed to clean the fridge?–by the time all of this was under control, it was 4pm.
To compound the amount of stress and angst I was feeling, the new tenants started moving their stuff in much earlier than we had anticipated, like at 1:30, not 4 or so. When I got back to the apartment after supervising the first round of unloading at the new house, the new tenant was standing there with a box in her hand while giving me dagger eyes, for what I did not know, seeing as how we’d met the day before and seemed to hit it off–we’d both lived in Brooklyn before moving to Portland, etc. I guess she and her husband did not expect to find some of our stuff still there, or our two cats, so with Thumbs mewling in her carrying case and Wiley hiding somewhere upstairs, I frantically scrubbed the fridge and tossed leftovers left and right into a garbage bag.
At this point I was feeling completely agitated, overwhelmed, and filled with despair that I would EVER get out of this apartment and be able to find anything again in the new house. Miraculously, midway through all of this my mom showed up with Sadie. I have never been so glad to see my mom in all my life. She took charge, vacuumed, cleaned stuff, and basically gave me hope that the move would be complete in my lifetime. I was also glad to see Sadie, who’d slept at my mom’s the night before in her first overnight away from me and Nick, ever!
When I was finally, officially done with my part, there was only one thing left to do: find and move Wiley. Thumbs was already contained in the cat carrier, so I brought her out to my car. My plan was to drop her off at the new house then come back for Wiley, but with the new tenants coming in and out and leaving the door open, I decided against leaving Wiley there by himself. So I picked him up and we walked outside. Unfortunately, two other sets of couples were also moving into our building that day, and there was mass confusion in our driveway, with lots of people milling about, and, of course, a dog.
Wiley saw the dog, freaked out, and jumped off of me so hard that he actually left bruises under bloody claw marks on my neck, shoulder, and torso. It looked like I had a vampire bite on my neck, which was fitting, since it was Halloween, after all.
He ran around the building but I caught him on the other side, getting him into my car along with randomly strewn coats, pots, shoes and brooms, as well as Thumbelina and Ting-Tong. But when we got to the new house, he escaped out the hatchback as soon as I opened it. I caught him, then wrangled him into the house for a brief moment before he darted out the door again, over towards neighbor Ben’s house, and then into the neighborhood. We haven’t seen him since. It’s been three days. Two people now have claimed to have seen him (Tony, the painter, and George, the excavator) but we haven’t yet caught sight of him.
Overall, the move was a trying, stressful ordeal, and right now I sort of feel like a mother who has given birth and then rejected her child. The house lacks running water, it’s a mess, it has wet primer paint in some rooms, and I don’t know where anything is. Luckily, we’re able to stay at my mom’s condo for now, because getting this house in livable condition is going to take all our extra time and energy, of which we don’t have a lot right now.