We've moved again. It was a choice prompted by what might best be described
as a hostile take-over by a new landlord. It made a lot more sense to move,
than to deal with him. The result is that we're now in an apartment that costs
$400/mo less than what the takeover guy wanted for that last apartment.
Savings is nice, but the kicker is that the new place (though a bit smaller)
is better by far than the old apartment, even with no dishwasher, and no
I'm looking at a box labeled ‘Liquor is quicker’ – a reminder of my upbeat,
tongue-in-cheek attitude during an earlier move. I'd read
Philip K. Dick's ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ that year, which inspired
me to label several of my boxes ‘kipple.’
This time around, the labels are more functional: ‘Office: electronics,’ ‘Oversize
magazines,’ ‘Closet: winter coats...’ Not very warm and fuzzy, but they helped
get the boxes into the right rooms and also steered me toward which boxes need
to be opened sooner, and which ones can wait.
As I write this, I'm on hold with Earthlink's DSL department. I submitted
my move request online and the order got lost, which means I'm starting over.
They're quoting me 10-15 days turnaround, which is a lot of high-speed withdrawal.
Looks like the laptop and I are going to have to make friends with as many
wi-fi networks as we can.
Tomorrow morning, someone is supposed to
come to install the DirecTV dish. The installer
was a no-show on Friday, when I think I became collateral damage in a little
gamesmanship between the installer (subcontractor) and DirecTV. The installer's
told me that the guy
had left my area about seven hours earlier [my appointment window was only
four hours...], and that he wouldn't be returning, because they were no longer
It was the
day before the Memorial Day weekend, and perhaps that company's last day as
a DirecTV installer. No matter. There's been plenty to do for the last several
days, without the distractions of the big tube.
Moving stirs up memories. I've been visited by the ghosts of moves past:
my first move after college; my long drive down to New York from Boston in
a Ryder truck, paid for by my employer; a harrowing move from Jersey City to
Park Slope; shipping
several boxes of stuff back to an ex-girlfriend; and moving from the third
floor to the duplex garden apartment on the first, mostly on my own — that was a cool experience.
of those moves and others are connected to memories of college, of friendships,
and even successes and failures. Boxes of personal items have become time
capsules. It's amazing the stuff that you keep, and how the stuff you keep
to the moments of your life.
Every move becomes a chance to remember, and a
chance to let go: we threw away a lot of stuff, and quibbled a bit over some
things that we kept (e.g. ‘Have you ever even touched this in
the last 5 years?’). But the point is to have a nice place to live, not a crowded
shrine to the past. In every move, I contend with things scratched, bent, broken, left behind, discarded, or lost. In a sense, every move is cathartic.
The new place is beautiful, and marks the opening of a new chapter. There's no garden, but there is a nice balcony...