Ok, first off, let me just say that I had hoped that this past week would have gone a little smoother. I was hoping my internet service would not be turned off until I was actually OUT of the apartment, rather than three days before, (Especially that last night because before I passed out from exhaustion I was really bored, and really wanted to check my e-mails.) I had several things I wanted to document for you all along the way, but obviously I couldn't, and I wanted to do other things online too, (like having my mail forwarded, etc.) but I couldn't do those things either, because those cable Nazis over at Comcast aren't willing to give you a minute that you aren't going pay to receive. Bastards.
But in all honesty, it's probably better that I didn't have internet access in those final days, or I'd have gotten distracted and not gotten nearly as much of my packing done and the debacle I'm about to describe would probably have been a little worse... And really, this move was bad enough as it was.
So... My last weekend in the Windy City just happened to coincide with a visit from Ling Wong (AKA - Lady Fanny of Omaha, AKA - J-Dub) and Loni (AKA - Meljoy) and so the Lizzle was able to go out with a bit more of a bang that what would have otherwise been expected. (Pictures to be posted as soon as I locate the necessary wires and whatnot... Though I have NO CLUE when that will be.) And basically I spent my last Saturday evening drinking on their ticket, so I thank them! Sunday was spent doing a little napping, a little packing, making a few calls, you know, odds and ends stuff.
Monday was when things kicked into a higher gear. I spent the vast majority of the day packing up my kitchen (God help the person who helps me unwrap all my glasses and such, as they are wrapped up in pages of the Chicago Free Press. So basically, my kitchen wares are packed ever so delicately in newsprint and pictures of half-naked gay men... It makes me giggle a little.) I took a break on Monday night to watch Six Feet Under, and I was so tired I could barely make it through the third episode Bravo aired. (Don't ask me why Comcast turned off my internet, but left my cable on... I've yet to figure that one out. I'm grateful for it, but I haven't figured it out.)
When I woke up Tuesday morning panic really set in. I knew I still had A LOT to do... And not a lot of time in which to do it. To accurately paint this picture for you all, I should also note that I woke up to a 5 A.M. bout with some serious cramps. Those cramps, and all that comes with them made these last few days just that much more miserable. But unable to go back to sleep I figured it would be best to get an early start, so I packed up my bathroom, keeping only the essentials like my shampoo and some soap out for the cursory daily bathing. I packed up everything in my closet, everything in the linen closet in the hall, and all the papers I needed. It was a very busy day.
Ordinarily one would think that Tuesday's panic would simply transfer to Wednesday. Well it did. And then it compounded. And then it compunded a few more times. Basically Wednesday I was at DEF CON 5. (And when you're emotional over something this big, and you're hormonal for aforementioned reasons, DEF CON 5 is not where you want to be.) So as I am wrapping up knick knacks, the last of the kitchen wares, and dismantling my bed I get a call from Anthony. He informs me that he has to work and will be unable to help with loading the truck. He does want to see me before I go though, so he wants to take me to lunch. And as much as I LOVE Anthony, while at DEF CON 5, and while hormonal, and overly emotional, having a last lunch with my gay husband before leaving indefinitely was gut-wrenching on my already delicate balance. (Yes, I know I maintain a tough facade, and most of the time I take the knocks life abundantly issues to me with the best of them, but at that particular moment I was actually quite fragile.) We had lunch, he dropped me off at the u-haul place so that I could get my truck and he could get to work, and we had our shamefully tearful goodbye. So I picked up my truck, drove it to my apartment building, and I proceeded to curse profusely at an idiot Floridian who, with his corolla, proceeded to park stupidly and take up what was by city standards a gigantic spot where I had intended to put my truck. After much honking, INSANE amounts of cursing, and some illicit finger gesturing (I am going to hide behind the emotion and hormone veil as a shallow excuse for my road rage... But come on you can park a corolla anywhere, a u-haul truck? Not so much.) I moved on, because I really had no other choice short of bludgeoning him to the point of death or unconsciousness (whichever came first) with a wheeled cart, swiping his keys, and moving his car for him so that I might park in a place that was rightfully mine. I drove little while longer, using up a few more of those miles for which those u-haul bitches charge 40 cents apiece, doing laps around the block trying to find something reasonably close to my building and appropriately sized... Eventually I found one. But in the interim, with every successive lap around the block I cursed that corolla and suppressed the urge to get out and run my keys down the driver's side door.
(As for progress in this story we've got a good long while to go here, so you'd better go refresh your beverage now, and take a pee break.)
I proceeded to go into my apartment building to find that the building manager felt the sudden urge to repaint the laundry room and refinish the floors while he was at it, and so all of the washers and dryers had found a home in the lobby for the day. (These are the kinds of things that happen without notice in that building. You just walk in and BAM. You have to deal.) Luckily there was enough room to get by with stuff, so the move was not greatly encumbered. My moving help, (two of my WONDERFUL, DEAREST, MOST GLORIOUS, INCREDIBLY SWEET friends, who's praises I will sing for the ages) showed up around 5:45, and before I knew it a light snow was falling, the gears were in motion, and all my worldly possessions began moving out the door.
Roughly two hours later, as we were preparing to take down the last load, I started looking for the key to the truck so that I could put a few things in the cab of the truck for the trip down. UH-OH... We can't find the key. We look high and low for a key we have all seen fairly recently. We check every inch of real estate from the back of my apartment to the back of the truck. And then we check it all again. No sign of the key. We dread the two HIGHLY unpleasant scenarios we are faced with. Option A) the key is packed somewhere inside with everything else, and the only way to find it is to unpack everything in the snow and wind, leaving all my crap on the ground outside until it is found. Option B) I dropped the key somewhere along the line, and since there is clearly no trace of it, someone has the key and is merely waiting for us to finish packing it up so that they can drive off with all of my stuff. Great. Grand. Wonderful. Chende could luckily see the emergency number on my contract in the cab and calls it. I spend fifteen minutes giving my information to the guy who answers the call, and just as he's about to say something that sounds like it could be helpful the phone cuts out, the call is dropped, and I am forced to call back and repeat everything I've just gone through. I spend the next forty-five minutes repeating myself to a woman who sounded as though she was chewing her own face as she made me repeat answers again and again. After nearly an hour she had finally found someone who had found someone else who could authorize her to give me the code to go and have the key cut. Of course by that time it was well after 9 P.M. and just about every place that would have been able to custom cut that specific key had already closed for the evening. So we locked the padlock on the back of the truck, said a quick Hail Mary and went to get some grub, (and a MUCH NEEDED cocktail.) While we sat waiting for our meal, aching and tired from the exertion I vocalized that all I wanted was a hot bath and some sleep. We ate. We chatted. I drank. And as we wrapped things up I cried... AGAIN. (Because I'm lame, and hormonal.)
And so my moving buddies went home, I went upstairs to my essentially empty apartment and I ran a hot bath. And just as I got in and was starting to soak my tired bones, I hear a knock at my door. OF COURSE. And since everything that was once in my bathroom is now down in the truck I have nothing much to cover up with. And then I hear my landlady turn the key and come into my apartment. SHIIIIIIT.
Landlady (In her thick eastern European accent): Hello?
Liz: Umm, HI!?
Landlady: Oh, I'm sorry to bother you, but is the water all right?
Liz: Umm, the water is fine... Is there a problem?
Landlady: Yeah well, there is water coming down downstairs.
Liz: (Mentally: HOLY FUCKING CHRIST, It figures that I flood the place out on my last night here...) Audibly: Umm, well, I can't see any reason in here that would cause that to happen but if you want to check it out for yourself you're going to have to give me a few minutes, because clearly I am in a precarious state.
Landlady: Ok, I come back in ten minutes.
Liz: Well, I'll be here.
As she left, and my asshole unclenched a little, I surveyed the bathroom... Everything was as it should have been in my bathroom, I didn't think there was anything that could have flooded out anything or anyone else. And upon her return the landlady informed me that it wasn't my fault, she'd found a broken pipe that just ran under my apartment, and wasn't actually anything to do with me. She further informed me that someone had found and returned a u-haul key. (Mentally: OH PRAISE JESUS.) Audibly: YOU ARE KIDDING! OH MY GOD! THANK YOU!
And so I slept a little more soundly knowing that nobody was going to make off with my stuff in the night, and that I didn't have to seek out special key-cutting services in the morning.
And when I woke up, I proceeded to do the thorough cleaning which could only be done once everything was finally out, I hauled my bedding out to the truck, and I started on my way.
You'd think that with all I'd been through to this point that I'd finally catch a break now that I'd made the decisive move to get out of town. You'd think wrong.
What could possibly go awry at this point, right?
Well, the u-haul people only had 1/4 of a tank of gas in this bad boy, and I didn't have a clue as to the fuel efficiency, or how many gallons the tank was, and so I didn't know if I was going to be able to make it to the Indiana state line before needing gas. Not wanting to run out of gas, stall in the middle of the Chicago Skyway, and cause a 26 car pile-up ranks highly among the things I'd ideally like to avoid, so I go looking for a gas station. Not a problem, right? Ahh, but there is a hitch. My debit card expired at the end of December. So I've got to find a place that takes a check. SIX count them SIX gas stations later, (NONE of them taking checks,) I find a gas station across the street from a bank where I have an account. (The account has no money in it, but I have an account there.) And so I inform the gas station attendant what's going on so that he won't have me towed, I run across to the bank branch, I write myself a check from the account where money is present and cash it at the bank using the number of the account where the money is not present, and I run back across the street to pay the attendant in cash for gas. (If that sounded at all frustrating and/or entirely too unnecessarily complicated, I assure you, it was, and it was really just what I needed to send me over the edge at that point.) And then I got to drive for 6 hours. And then I got to unload the truck. So you understand that the Lizzle has had a harrowing couple of days, and that I'm not stretching it too far by calling this series of events a debacle. Or at the very least perhaps a comedy of errors... Only I stopped finding the comedy even remotely funny quite some time ago.
I know that some of you will understand all of this, and know the intensity and unpleasantness of every event I just noted, and that some of you will think I'm exaggerating. To the ones who understand, I love you. Thanks for being another person on this planet who gets just how bad all of this collectively SUCKED. To the ones who think I'm exaggerating, I'm not. Not at all. Every word is true, and the writing doesn't do the actual events any kind of justice.
Welcome to the hell that is my life. I should be used to this by now... Somehow, I'm not.