A post with writing…what a concept!
I am writing this while riding shotgun in our 15-foot budget truck packed to the hilt. I took the first shift driving this morning, and was pretty happy, as we drove by Baton Rouge, to find a radio station playing zydeco and Van Morrison.
However, Paul and I have an unspoken agreement that the driver gets to pick the entertainment. Since he’s taken the wheel we’ve been channel surfing, landing in twelve-second minutes increments on stations with slogans like “Nothing tired, nothing old, just the best in cool new country music.” Right now we’re listening to what I think is Lifehouse and the DJ has promised that if we stay tuned there is “trashy talk from Tinseltown” still to come.
To bring folks up-to-date, we’ve left Tallahassee and are making a marathon run via Interstate 10 to L.A. The leaving was somewhat prolonged—as those who were expecting us to show up in California two weeks ago have probably figured out. Paul’s been operating on ridiculously little amounts of sleep trying to complete post-production on his parrot movie. I’ve been trying to write in the mornings and dedicate the rest of the day to tasks of sorting, packing, last appointments with doctors, dentists etc.
Despite some of this preparation, we were less than ready when our excellent friends showed up for “Moving Day.” My feeling about having friends help you move, is that it’s fine—but that EVERYTHING you want them to touch should be in a box, or bigger than a box (like a couch). Being unprepared for movers is nightmarishly like hosting a dinner party but having forgotten to cook any food…or even plan a menu. We quickly worked through the boxes we had prepared, and then had to delegate tasks on the fly—Paul and I had not even seen each other enough in the last weeks to make a battle plan, so the result in testiness all around. After four hours there was a consensus that the friends—who I pray don’t now hate us—had done they could, and Paul had to go in for his night shift at the film school. For the next two days we sorted more, packed more, took more carloads to the Goodwill etc.
Yesterday we embarked on the cleaning. Alumni Village has a checklist of requirements for avoiding fines, including cleaning in and around stove, fridge, heating units, as well as bathrooms, windows, blinds, walls and floors. Maintenance came first thing in the morning to remove the air-conditioners. The temperatures outside climbed to 96 degrees and soon I was scrubbing hardened grease from broiler plates in the equivalent to Cool Hand Luke’s hot box.
Paul’s estimate was that after not mopping or dusting for three years, we could clean for an hour or so and be on the road by 8am—hopefully in Austin, TX by 11pm. My estimate was “Are you on crack?”
But since he had been up all night (yet again) I just said, “I think you should be open to the possibility it might be closer to noon.”
It was 4pm when we turned in our keys to the Main office.
We made a couple of stops on the way out of town—one to sell the Volvo (2.5 hours from Craigslist posting closed deal—how much does that rock?) and another at Fresh Market to load up on chi-chi deli salads, flavored teas and green juices with phyto-nutrients (have you see the plastic Voss bottles?) before diving into the deep South, and finally hit the road around 5pm. Since Paul had now been awake for 36 hours I took the wheel. The adventure begins…