Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Move

by all accounts the move wasn’t a disaster. i found a moving company that worked very efficiently for a reasonable rate. the movers were cute hungarian guys who showed up, carefully moved my junk and then quietly left — in about four hours. the only thing complicating the move (and the many days that followed it) was the bullshit sun, which decided to become unbearably hot via a weeklong L.A. heat wave. first day of the heat wave was on move day itself, may 15.

also complicating matters was the fact that the house was not exactly “complete” on move day: the kitchen needed to be built, closets assembled, light fixtures installed, appliances delivered, among many other things. this meant several days of laboring around the house in an oppressive heat that must have produced 70 buckets of sweat. during this time i was downing two gallons of water a day and peeing not at all.

add to the dehydration sun blisters on my face, a sunburned nose, chapped lips, chronic sneezing borne of summer allergies and you’ll have one frazzled, yet happy homeowner hit with the ugly stick. my new neighbor, a fantastic lady named Lisa, ran up to me during the move with arms open yelling, “welcome to the neighborhood!” as she approached, however, and got a closer look, she blurted, “damn, you look beat.” in my heat delirium she reminded me of my mom, and when i fell into her arms for the welcoming hug, i hung onto her tightly and almost asked her to hold me and tell me it would all be ok. nevermind that i was layered in sweat and smelled like a sewer.

once the movers pulled out of the driveway, i moved my car into it to unload a few items, and that’s when it hit me: like, wow, i’m parked in a driveway, my own driveway, that leads to my house, my own house. i have a house in front of me that’s my house, and my own car is in my own driveway leading up to my own house.

this was significant not only because i had a house, but more so because i finally had a parking space — something that never happened during my ten years of living in hollywood, where i had only street parking. but now i had an actual parking space and would never again need to redden my wrists by attaching six shopping bags full of groceries to them so i could make the two-block walk from my car to my apartment. now i would never again need to play the fun morning game of, “dude, where’s my car?” or “dude, i forgot about street cleaning and now have a parking ticket.”

i welled up with emotion at the thought of my new parking space and let the happy tears spill out. this was it. i had come home. i tried taking a few breaths but almost choked on the hot air. with windows up, the sun had baked my car extra crispy and ruined my own moment in it.

i darted into the house and saw the mess of boxes piled high in each corner. two nervous dogs circled my legs and panted uncontrollably, their drool spilling onto the new bamboo floors i just paid for. i walked over to Mo, who stood idly amid the mess, also unsure where to begin. he looked over at me, tilted his head and said, “damn, you look like hell.” felt like hell, too. still i asked him, “can i have a hug?” he looked reluctant, “ok, but only a quick one. it’s too hot.”

it was too hot — easily 105ºF. too hot to really do anything, and i wanted nothing more than to sit in a bathtub full of ice with a fan pointed at my face, but i knew that the one bathtub in the house needed serious scrubbing and the fan was packed away somewhere unknowable so i rolled up my figurative sleeves (i was wearing a tank top) and went to work.

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