Moving is one of the most stressful and unpleasant things a person ever has to endure in one’s lifetime. I hate it so much, in fact, that I lived in a shitty apartment with a dreadful maintenance crew for several years just because I didn’t want to go through the stress of packing up a lifetime’s worth of junk and hauling it across town.
Last Friday, after much hassle, we finally moved to a wonderful new place and closed the books on an epic story of a trashed apartment.
In the seven years I lived at my old place, I survived neighbors who (allegedly) sold crack and blared Master P at 3 a.m., an air conditioning unit from the 1960s that chilled my apartment to 94 degrees in the summer and several threats of eviction due to my progressive ideas about what “sanitary living conditions” exactly meant.
And I would have put up with it seemingly forever. All I really require is a source of electricity and heat, access to a stove and a clear patch of floor, carpet or tub wide enough for me to pass out at the end of the evening.
But after a scary incident with a creepy person in our apartment complex — put it this way, if I owned a gun, I’d be in prison right now for manslaughter — Katie no longer felt safe and we knew it was time to go.
It was not without some sense of remorse that I abandoned my old place. Nobody who entered that place ever forgot the experience for good or for ill. As my old friend Jayson Teig once told me, “Every inch of that place has a story to tell.” To call it “lived-in” would be a massive understatement.
Just take the carpet, for example. I estimate that it had, at one time or another, been subjected to a spill from every kind of liquid that comes in a bottle, can, keg or jar. The entire gamut of liquids, from coffee to Jagermeister to Log Cabin syrup, had been accidentally or intentionally introduced to the surface of the carpet.
When mixed with the ashes from my incessant chain-smoking and spillage of food items, it created a color not found on any artist’s palette.
I coped with it for years by illuminating the entire living room with a single 20-watt red bulb. It gave the place a dim allure that caused guests not to notice the devastating conditions around them.
As long as there was enough light to allow a visitor to go to the kitchen or bathroom without being tripped or bitten by a stray animal, I felt like I was in good shape.
I had many good times there — and some bad ones. Most of the people I’ve ever loved in my life have spent time at the old place. It wasn’t uncommon for celebrities like Justin and Jim from The Slurs or Wudearnt to drop by. It was the site of much laughter and merriment, as well as acts of kindness.
When I was hospitalized in 2004, my friend Erin and her mom cleaned the place from top to bottom. It had gone from a state of anarchy and debauchery to a sterile, hospitable environment. It was such a sweet, selfless act that I burst into tears and, to this day, I feel a sense of gratitude that I will always have towards her.
And, most importantly, it was the location where I spent hours of conversation with Katie, and where we went from casual friends to eternal loves. I knew I would marry her when I realized she could spend more than a few hours there and not be repulsed.
I’m so glad we moved and I’m so happy with the new place. For security reasons, I can’t disclose its location, but it’s in a nice neighborhood and convenient to both downtown and the Northside.
The move itself wasn’t even as stressful as it could be. Eric and Dave from Joe’s Mighty Movers had us set up safe and sound in no time flat — and for an awesome price. They get my heartiest endorsement.
And, other than the fact that our cats are still traumatized and that Bright House Cable’s DVR is a piece of junk, things look pretty good for us.
This is a good time to change. We’re headed for a bright future as an unlikely, quirky couple. In a few months, President Obama will start to fix things up. We each have good jobs and I have the friendship and unity of my brothers and sisters of my workers’ union.
Like I wrote a few weeks back, I have no complaints.