Monday, August 2, 2004

30 Minutes Door To Door

The sky was just beginning to lighten up when I rolled over checked my watch only to see it was half past five in the morning. An hour earlier I had woken up anxious about my long day ahead and grabbed my iPod to help me sleep, it worked, but not too well. I decided to take a shower and begin the move ahead of schedule, hopefully if I started soon enough I could catch then end of the sailboat race down on Long Pond. Little did I know how ambitious that thought would turn out to be. Everything in my apartment was now piled into the living room including my bed, which was leaning up against the wall. I had spent the night on my futon and confirmed that it did provide a comfortable night's sleep. Within fifteen minutes I had showered, dressed and pulling my car into the driveway. It took ten minutes to load the car and just as the sun poked its head over the horizon I drove off down Nichols Street towards Somerville.

The traffic was light and after a little bit of navigation issues in Somerville I pulled up to the new place. The door opened right up and I was the first person to move back into the apartment after months of renovation. My footsteps echoed as I quickly carried one box after another through my new cavernous abode. Ten minutes later and my first load had been moved, things were looking very good. I quickly drove back to Salem and grabbed another load for delivery. Once again the traffic was light and I laughed to myself about how I might even find time for a haircut before the races. I dropped the second load off and went up towards Amesbury to meet Travis and pick up my stepfather's truck. On the way up I gave Travis a heads up call, but he didn't answer the phone. Very strange. No problem though I still wouldn't be up there for another forty minutes. I finally made it to my mom's house and the truck was missing from the driveway. I went inside, didn't see a note, but figured Travis' truck was smaller, but we could still manage with it. I dialed his number again and it quickly went over to voicemail. I drove by his house and the house was locked up tight and his truck was missing too. Now I was starting to get nervous and began to ponder in my head whether I could move the rest of my stuff in my car. Instead of wasting more time thinking about it I just drove back to Salem and try to make due with the old Jetta.

One at a time I carried out different pieces of furniture and tried to squeeze them into the side door first and then attempted to slide them into the trunk. Somehow my entertainment center popped into the back seat and my book case was able to fit in the trunk. I loaded some small stuff inside before driving back to Somerville. It took about five minutes before I was able to twist the entertainment center at just the right angle to get it out of the back seat. Finally with a little lifting and pulling it came loose and I fell backwards, catching my balance just before I hit the ground. I took a little break to unload some refrigerated food and got back on the road to try another trip. It was now around noon and it was about 94 degrees outside. My phone rang and it was my brother telling me that the truck was now available if I wanted to use it. I thought ahead and decided to pick up some things in Salem that were ultimately destined for life back in Amesbury. My stomach began to rumble, so I took a helpful piece of advice and at some lunch at the newest sub shop in Salem. It was quick but helped me regain some energy and much needed fluids after sweating profusely all afternoon. Thankfully I decided to wear my new wicking shirt, which helped keep me dry on the driving parts of the move.

I pulled up the driveway to my mom's house five hours after I had been there before and nothing changed including the presence of the truck. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought to myself, "Somebody must have it in for me today." After a few deep breaths I unloaded some of my stuff and went inside for water. Thankfully within a couple minutes Jon showed up with the truck and I heaved a sigh of relief. I told him I would return within a couple hours and jumped in the truck. Now seeing me driving the truck is always quite amusing, because I am not your typical big pickup truck owner. Sitting high above the little sedans I almost feel like a kid navigating this massive vehicle through the streets. My favorite part about the truck though is that my stepfather doesn't have a CD player, but instead he has a cassette deck. The only tape he has is an old Dave Matthews tape, it is always an added bonus when I climb up into the drivers seat to see the tape waiting to play. One side of the album later and I was in Salem ready to load my toughest cargo so far.

The big three of the move had to be moved and it was just little old me to do the moving. Futon, box spring and mattress. The latter two aren't too difficult, more bulky than anything, but the futon was an entirely different story. It was now the middle of the afternoon and the sweat was pouring off of my head, down my arms and pretty much every nook and granny of my being. I transformed the futon into a bed and picked it up on its side. It was surprisingly light, but tougher to maneuver through the kitchen. I made it out the back door and began down the steps. All of a sudden the futon decided it wanted to be a couch again and began to fold back into a seat like position. My arm was now well lubricated and slid in between the slats of the futon, the only catch was that the space between the slats was smaller than my arm. I barely kept the futon off the ground as I ripped my arm towards me freeing it from its painful prison. I managed to turn it back into a bed and put it in the back of the truck. My arm was stinging, but I knew I had to keep going. The last two pieces went smoothly and I tied everything down as best I could before shooting down the highway into the wind. I kept picturing everything blowing off of the back of the truck, but it stayed put all the way to Summer Street. Once I arrived there I saw that my roommate, Katja, and her friend were there, so thankfully they helped me carry the blasted futon into the house.

We talked for a bit and I learned they had been having some major issues with U-Haul, so I volunteered myself and the truck to pick up the rest of her stuff in East Cambridge. We drove across town and quickly loaded up her bed, mattress and a desk. It was nice to be moving things with other people for a change. Fifteen minutes later and we were back at our apartment unloading her things. I looked at my watch, it was now 6:30 and I had been moving for over twelve hours with at least two trips to Salem in my future. I said goodbye and drove back to Salem for my final load with the truck. I filled up the back with a bureau, a desk, and a bunch of chairs. It was a quick stop, since there wasn't much planning ahead involved due to the lack of choices. The last truck load was finally delivered a half hour later and it was time to drive back up to Amesbury for the third time of the day. The sun was beginning to set as I drove northward up I-93. I was now halfway through the Dave Matthews album for the third time. It was almost too much for me, but it beats the radio any day.

It was dark by the time I pulled into the driveway on Kimball Road. I was now completely exhausted and it was difficult to stay awake. The last of the furniture was supposed to go back to my dad's house, but I was too lazy and just dumped it upstairs over the garage, to move another day in the near future. I went inside grabbed a glass of lemonade and thanked my stepfather for the use of his truck. Now it was back to the Jetta for the final trip to Salem. I shot down the street not only because I knew my day was nearly complete, but also because my car zooms around much faster than the big old truck. Before long I was on Nichols Street for the last time. I went inside did a little cleaning, walked through again to make sure I didn't miss anything and carried the last of my things out to my car. It was sad to walk through the apartment one last time. While not many exciting things actually happened there I did learn many new things in my eleven months at my first apartment on 21 Nichols Street. A lot about me has changed significantly over the last eleven months. I cooked my first meals, paid my first utility bills, ran out of money on more than one occasion, witnessed how difficult it is too keep the cupboards stocked, how to entertain myself when coming home to an empty house night after night, learned how much fun it is to go home and visit my family, how to sing and play the guitar at the same time and a bunch of other things, the list would be too long. I shut the door to the apartment and also on one important part of my life, walked to my car and drove down the hill for the last time.

Thirty minutes later I lucked out and found a parking space at the bottom of the stairs to my new apartment. I carried the last of my things into the apartment locked the car up and walked in to see a mountain of my belongings piled in my bedroom. It was now 16 hours after I had begun moving and while it was finished, things were just beginning for me as I moved boxes out of my room to make way for my bed. The day had been long, much longer than I ever anticipated, I had my shares of scrapes and bruises, drove over four hundred miles between Salem, Somerville and Amesbury and more than once was faced with challenges I could never have anticipated. However standing in my new room with the lenghty task of unpacking ahead didn't bring me a feeling of frustration, instead I was looking forward to organizing and the new experience ahead of living with new people in an exciting new city. All this from a person who a year ago resisted change at all costs, now how's that for a change.

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