Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Moving On (And On, And On...) 

For a while, it was chaos. 30 years of accumulated junk, including an attic grown wild after two years living in the air, spread its way across the house like an oldgrowth forest, a creep measured in days instead of eons.

But as moving day grows closer I navigate my way through empty boxes in the mornings as I leave for work, come home to find them full and labeled. Each day for a week I've come home to an apartment more sparsely decorated than it was the previous day. Reportedly, while I'm gone, Willow hides in boxes while her mother furiously keeps-or-discards.

After all this time, a scant five months before we must leave the community for parts -- and a job -- unknown, the prep school has finally found us a house all our own.

I'm still not totally sure this was a good idea. Sure, we can't get by on the third floor much longer: what with my herniated disk and Darcie's impending C-section, no washing machine and a 30 pound toddler to carry, the laundry and groceries have been stacking up in the car. On our worst days we already felt trapped three stories up, afraid to leave lest we end up sleeping in the car, unable to climb back home again.

Yes, I know. It seems a bit odd to be moving before the job search is over. We could have lived with it, suffered somehow. But we've waited so long, and in a life so trying. In the end, I guess, it was too tempting not to go.

Regardless, moving in the middle of the term seems a herculean task. I'm going full-tilt at work these days, working off a week's worth of lethargy and damning resume-sifting, trying to get the in-box down to a manageable size even as the tasks come in fast and furious from a community suddenly fearful for the impending loss of my expertise. I've got entire rooms scheduled for cleaning on Sunday. It's going to be a close race to the finish line.

Still, we're committed. The school has found us appliances, filled the oil tank, painted over the mold in the upstairs bathroom ceiling. We've booked the movers for Monday. We've told the neighbors, and the toddler herself.

And so this old apartment grows empty, bereft of everything but the infinity of boxes which line the walls like so many cardboard remnants of a packrat existence. The attic floor slowly comes clean, returns to dust. Bare walls show the marks of now-stacked posters; mirrors show our ankles as we walk by their temporary waiting places. Nostalgia turns to the strangeness of a home unsettled, un-lived-in, unliveable.

We'll justify the short-term move by living the monastic life, leaving most of our lives in cardboard, safe in the raised-floor basement of a home that might have been. But as the sign says, we're going out of business here. Everything must go.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:21 AM |

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