Erie Journal, 5/15

I know, I know, I can hear what you’re saying, fearless, intrepid readers:  how dare I give you such exhaustive detail of all the activity leading up to the move and then abandon you for DAYS as the event unfolds?  It must have been like the cruelest of television season-ending cliffhangers!  Well, eff you.  Life got in the way of blogging.

(I don’t know why the Erie Journals have a tone of distaste for you, the loyal reader.  I swear, I love you.  It’s just the tone these entries seem to want to take!)

Anyway, as usual, I’m gonna have to skim over some details because just too much has happened since I posted last.  You saw the picture entries of the move itself, and I would like to once again thank Burke, Paul, Liz and Michael for helping me move. Also, thanks go to Mom and Mary for helping me clean, Dad for letting me crash at his house at a very crucial and odd moment for me, Duane for his last minute computer help, and probably somebody else who helped and I’m forgetting and I’m sorry I’m forgetting you.  I truly do have some amazing friends and family!

Long story short, the move was difficult.  It essentially went off as I had planned—and believe it or not, I consider myself something of a good planner—but what I never considered during my planning was that there was very little time for me to sleep, recover, and be sane.  And despite that, I would have made it work if it hadn’t for some godawful reason taken Michael and I eight hours to drive back from Erie after unloading all my stuff into my new apartment.  It was like we drove into some sort of black hole/time warp/weird thing.  I just kept driving that U-Haul, pointing forward and pressing the gas, and it was like nothing was happening…

So anyway, that drive forced me to change my plans a tad, and instead of ending up here in Erie Thursday morning, I rolled in here around 10:30 Thursday night.  So yeah, the plan had to be altered.  Still.  I claim this as a triumph in my life, as I single-handedly planned all of it.  This is not an attempt to be egotistical here folks.  Those that have known me since my teen years will know this is just a monumental achievement!

I’ll tell you what was friggen strange was walking into this apartment in Erie Thursday night.  It was dark.  A thunderstorm had just passed through.  The world was chilly but not cold, and becalmed, and silent with a hint of breeze.  I’d just been here, in this apartment the day before, but that had been in blazing sunlight, with one of my best friends, doing heavy, sweaty work and grunting and counting to three and lifting.  So now I approach the front door for the first time ever in darkness, and I am all alone, and I am not going “home” that night, and it is quiet everywhere as my brand new key jingles in the lock and I open the unfamiliar door and the room is pitch black and all I can smell is fresh paint and the afterscent of rain and I get lucky guessing where the light switch is and the overhead light pops on and there in the midst of all this unfamiliarity is, quite all of a sudden, the entirety of my belongings, sitting in a massive disarray, exactly how Michael and I had left them just a little over 24 hours before.

I know that may sound like a NOT great experience, but that is only because I’ve failed as a narrator.  Yes, it was surreal, and perhaps somber and disquieitng, but also rather thrilling, not like a roller coaster but my own personal fun house—my life as a hall of mirrors.  If, in 24 hours, one’s life can become so utterly different (and yet, so entirely the same), it makes you question just what it is that defines your life.  Oddly, during those first few moments inside the apartment door, it became clear to me that stuff does, in fact, play a role in my identity, but thankfully, just not a very large one. It was a relief to feel the sensation flush through me from head to toe that the truly important element in this equation was me, no matter which TV was sitting in the corner (though I loved the fact that it was my TV).

The first few minutes after entering the apartment were a flurry of activity, marked by one observation and two activities.  The observation was complete silence.  No television, no radio, not even any incoming text messages, and no neighbors making noise of any kind.  In such an unfamliar setting, I really did need something.  And so my first two activities were:  getting the TV hooked up to the DVD player (cable and internet wouldn’t come till the next day) and—actually the very first order of business—getting some blinds up on the two street-facing living room windows.  As I said, it was night time and the windows are facing the residential street and the only light I had to work with at this point was the bright overhead light, so I felt very, very exposed.  I had actually anticipated this and had even brought two cheapy Wal-Mart vinyl mini-blinds up with me right away.  I had never in my life put up a blind of any kind, so less than two minutes after entering the apartment, I was opening and attempting to figure out these blinds.  It is perhaps of note that the apartment is FULL of stuff, so I have very little room to work.  As a reminder, here was how Michael and I left the living room:

The day before, right before Michael and I left, I measured the windows in anticipation of the blinds, and stopped by Wal-Mart immediately before leaving for Erie that afternoon, to buy the blinds.  Well folks, turns out I’m not a champ at measuring.  Luckily, I over-measured, so the blinds I bought were too long by about two inches.  I did not see this as a problem.  Believe it or not, I have a toolbox, and in that toolbox is a saw.  So less than ten minutes after getting there, I’ve got these vinyl mini-blinds sitting on those white Gonella bread boxes you see in the picture above and I am sawing one inch off both sides.  (mind you, I am just sawing the bar across the top, not the actual blinds.  I’m  not a maniac!).  Amazingly, this worked like a charm and I very quickly had privacy, at least from the street side of the apartment (and only when in the living room).

After that it was the TV, and the couch, as my chair were all entirely buried underneath God-knows-what and I was definitely craving a sit-down.  As you can guess by looking at the pic of the living room above, getting the couch to in any reasonable way face a television would require some finagling.  But I managed it very quickly.  I had procured a few movies from the Redbox in Carlisle before leaving for Erie, and I quickly had the new DeNiro flick “Everybody’s Fine” playing, and I was laying on the couch, and I was just gonna watch a few minutes and then get up and start the long, arduous process of getting the apartment in order because after all, I didn’t really have to sleep at any reasonable time and obviously I had no plans in the near future and then…I was sound asleep.  I woke up at 10am the next morning feeling like a million very, very confused bucks.  And then the work began.

As this is a fairly long entry already, I’m going to end here for now so as to not tire you out, Fearless Reader.  Since everything I’m saying is in the past, it’s not really of the essence to tell it all now, so I’ll bring us up to the present day in an entry tomorrow.  Thanks for reading, shitbirds!

4 Responses to “Erie Journal, 5/15”

  1. The way you describe those first few moments left me breathless. You never disappoint!

  2. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    So when is your first day at the new restaurant? I hope you get a few days to explore your new place and town.

  3. What a great read. I feel like I am you when I read your descriptions. I agree with you that this is a humongous accomplishment, planning and doing it all on your own with help from your friends. You have kudos from your Momma. And tons of love coming to Erie.

  4. Once again, a fabulous way of entertaining the reader followed by an awesome ending. I don’t think I’ve ever been called a shitbird before.

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