killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
[personal profile] killerkaleidoscope
My stepmother gave up on her vow of silent enmity in order to call me Saturday afternoon and let me know my brother and a friend of his were in town with a half-empty U-Haul. They were headed north Sunday morning, and I'm moving north, so she told us we should work something out so long as he had a moving vehicle and big muscles on hand to be lent to us. Great idea, right? Turns out that my stepmother's idea for a short-notice mad scramble to move some of our things with the aid of my brother and his friend's rented U-Haul and borrowed muscle was ill-advised, to say the least. How ill-advised? Let's see:

Left town three hours after we were told to be ready because my brother & his friend were having a nice leisurely breakfast. After leaving, wound up in an hour of inexplicable stop-and-go traffic somewhere by Gilroy. Got yelled at over the phone because my brother couldn't find my building, despite having printed out directions for him that I know were right because I went the same damn way.

Brother and his friend had to park the U-Haul across 1.5 driveways because the street was packed. They shifted the kitchen table to the sidewalk and lifted the very large, very heavy couch out of the truck, leaving me to spend forty minutes moving everything (and I do mean everything) else we had from U-Haul to inside the building while they wrangled the very large, heavy couch upstairs. After getting everything inside, ran upstairs to check on them. Discovered they'd shredded the pristine black leather couch, marked and gouged the doorframe and walls all to hell, and the couch was still in the hallway, ever so slightly too large in every direction to fit.

Waited while they swore and shoved some more, then asked them to let me have the keys to the U-Haul so I could move it somewhere less illegal. They took it as their cue to depart, leaving us stranded, alone, with all of our furniture sitting downstairs--except for the now-almost-ruined couch we could not move, which had been abandoned in front of the fire escape--at 6PM on a Sunday. I was near tears, my dear friend was near double homicide.

We pulled it together. We called, texted, and put out a Facebook APB for anyone in the Berkeley area capable of shifting and getting rid of a couch that weighs about as much as a goddamn silverback gorilla. In between, we bitterly hauled everything we were capable of lifting upstairs. Finally got a hold of my dear friend's aunt from Alameda and her aunt's buddy. Through a combination of smarts, strength, optimism, preparedness, and sheer bloody-mindedness, they wrangled the couch through the doorway by unscrewing the weather stripping from the top and bottom of the doorframe and carefully but firmly shoving it through on its end.  After lots of hugs, thanks, and promises to pay them back in dinner and cake at some later date, they departed.

At this point, it was 9:35. We were worn out and starving, and we still had to measure the apartment's dimensions to ensure this didn't have to happen again. We took one look at each other and left to buy dinner. It gave us a chance to collect ourselves before we spent an hour crawling around with a measuring tape and a notebook. At some point I did a little triage on the ruined doorframe, wiping up splinters and paint flakes with a washcloth and carefully rubbing a bit of white chalk over the black scuffs and obvious bits of exposed wood.

Once done with that, we were, finally, good to go. Except we had to get gas, and it was about midnight. I was unpleasantly surprised by the nearest gas station being close for the night, but, exhausted and annoyed, decided 'fuck it, we'll just go and grab gas somewhere else later'. We hit the road, cheerful even when we accidentally got the wrong highway and had to circle around a little to get back on track.

I thought to myself, well, that wasn't so bad. Then I happened to look at the car's GPS screen.

"...Why are we going north?"

It is at this point that we burst into hysterical sobbing laughter that lasted a solid minute, and kept bubbling up even after we pulled into a Emeryville gas station and programmed our destination into the car's GPS. Clearly we couldn't be trusted to navigate ourselves, and it's a long, long way back to town. 

We finally left Berkeley at one AM, and talked, and talked, and talked ourselves hoarse the whole way back, trying to keep awake and alert and pass the time with the radio next to worthless and my phone with its music gone dead. Four and a half hours later, we were home. My dear friend had three hours before she had to get up for class and I still had to drive back to my place after having been awake for almost twenty-four hours.

It was a very, very long day. I feel like a dishrag last used to scrub out the inside of a tractor and then left to dry all crunchy and gross in a corner somewhere. Today is going to involve nothing more strenuous than picking up a book.
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killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
Karolina Keene

August 2012

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