Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Highlights from the Recent Past

When the going gets tough, the procrastinators finally stop blogging.

So I've been in my new apartment for six weeks now, and I'm wholly convinced I should've been comped the first month's rent to make up for all the time I had to spend cleaning (i.e. not being settled into) the place. I even had to repack, reclean, and then unpack (again) the kitchen and bathroom, on account of work my landlord needed to do to those rooms AFTER I had "finished" them.

There have been other delays, too. Primarily: I've been so frustrated with the whole ordeal of even needing to move, that I feel moved to inaction.

And by that mean: every time I looked at the boxes around me, I was struck with such a sense of futility, that some days I couldn't bring myself to touch them.

I'll probably just pack them all up again in 11 months, right? I mean, what's the point in doing this over and over again, particularly in a city that treats tenants like three-week-old meat? Making changes here, as I've come to realize, doesn't really change a thing.

Not to mention, it's hard to want to clean that mysterious stain in your hallway closet when your mantra is anything but self-affirming.

"I don't care. It isn't worth it. There is no point."

So you do what you can in-between bouts of depression, only to realize four weeks in (after you've finally cleared most of the boxes from your dining room, where they'd previously been stored) that the folks who live upstairs are actually noisier than your previous neighbors.

It was so bad, in fact, that just sitting in my dining room / office was an act of self-inflicted aggression. To do anything other than leave my apartment was torture. The music was so loud, in fact, that I could make out the lyrics to songs. I could even sing along if I wanted to.

I allowed this to continue for a few days before one afternoon — heart pounding — I made the bold move up the stairs and knocked on my neighbor's door.

Their music was so loud, however, that after 2-3 minutes of intermittent knocking, I was able to confirm that they simply couldn't hear me over the the sound of Narles Barkley's "Crazy."

So I wrote them a nice letter — and I do mean nice — and tucked it under their door.

And wouldn't you know it, but one of them stopped by all apologetic — admitted they had speakers feeding directly into the floor, without a rug to muffle the sound — and within a day or two, the situation was mostly resolved (I can still hear their television at times, but I can deal with that better than I can the constant sound of a stereo).

In which case, I'm starting to (finally) feel better about the place. But that doesn't mean that old sense of futility doesn't creep up every time I go to hang a picture, or measure the windows for curtains.

I'm at a point where, quite simply, I care less and less. Whereas once upon a time I made an effort to make every place feel like "home," there's an unquestionable air of homelessness that increases with every subsequent move.


Stacy said...

I moved 33 times in 15 years and I had two small sons and no job skills,or money.
I feel your pain but really, you never get the same story twice. My mantra when I cleaned those strange and horrible places was, "I am cleaning up the mess in my life"
I really think it works and country music goes best with such mantras. Do the neighbors play that?

Winter said...

You are so much nicer, than I'll ever be.

I wish I could offer words of comfort, but really I can't.

I do however promise if and when I win the lotto, I'll purchase you a house.

How's that for #1 stalker ever?

michele said...

I feel your frustration. The whole time I was unpacking last fall, I knew it meant I would just repack it all again in a year. It was very disheartening.

At least the cleaning was minimal. But you know, I cut myself some slack after a while and told myself it didn't matter if it was spotless. And you know? All the blinds STILL need cleaning. Don't think it's gonna happen before I move again in a few months!

Hang in there. The depression will disappear, and the dirt, well, it won't disappear, but maybe if you cut yourself some slack now, it'll seem manageable later... But hang in there. It won't last.

Unacademic Advisor said...

As you know, Darling wife and I were moving every 6 mos. there for awhile, and we did leave much of our stuff in boxes. So, I understand exactly how you feel. And you and I have discussed our strange desire to just chuck everything we own while at the same time holding onto every freaking book we bought for our advanced degrees in literature. We are strange creatures, T, but just remember that this too shall pass.

Lee said...

Oh what a bummer...but it sure was nice to read that the upstairs neighbors were decent. Don't hear those stories that often.

ds said...

gotcha -

just moved in with my grandparents. almost everything hidden in a hundred and seventeen degree storage unit. dvds somewhere in mom's shed. all my clothes hanging beside grandma's car in the garage. and getting dressed there. guitars... somewhere. but just think of all the money I'm saving and how much I have to drink to cope every night.

take care and good luck in the new!


Woodrow said...

That made me really sad for you.