Pretty much everybody’s favorite activity in the whole wide world, and it’s pretty obvious why. When else do you get to:
-Finally address the problem of those cockroach carcasses that you, uh, just sort of swept to the side of the stove once they were dead, vowing never to look in that particular space again,
-Ask yourself why, exactly, you needed eight cans of spray freshener,
-Rope your significant other into helping you move from your apartment to his in exchange for a healthy 60% of your stuff, including furniture,
-Sit on the floor of the cab of a particularly bumpy U-Haul all the way to Manhattan with your head down so the NYPD doesn’t see you, which is so comfortable you would not believe it, I want to travel this way all the time,
-Practically lose it seven or eight times because despite the fact that you’re getting rid of tons and tons of your stuff and you didn’t have a lot to begin with, the piles of stuff you ARE taking are not getting any smaller, DAMMIT,
-And, of course, sit around for forty or fifty minutes of anxiety while your vindictive little worm of a superintendent (unless he's somehow reading this, in which case he is a very handsome sweetheart of a man, and I'm pretty sure he's been working out) inspects your apartment and arbitrarily decides whether or not to sign off on you getting your $2,000 deposit back.
However, I have a secret weapon at my disposal: I am a master mover/packer. Yes. It’s not quite as exciting as being able to fly or see through walls, but it is a superpower all the same judging by the awestruck looks I get from friends after I finish packing their 3 bedroom apartments into a single van.
An thus far, my plan seems to be working fairly well. About a month ago, my charming boy and I agreed that he would rent a truck on Sunday and, with the help of his roommate, help move my/their stuff from my Queens apartment to their Manhattan one.
This made sense on any number of levels; for one thing, I think we’d get some pretty funny looks trying to schlep a sofa on the subway. For another, I will be staying with them until my departure next Friday—just about ten days and six or seven mental breakdowns away at this point. I would leave only a few items at my apartment until Tuesday night, when he would come over and help me bring them to the apartment.
Give or take a couple of back spasms, that’s exactly how it all played out.
My apartment is now empty, desolate, emotionally spent at the idea that after one last short visit today, I will be gone for good.
I’m lying. It doesn’t care. Hello, it’s an apartment.
I care, though. Nearly two years, I’ve been in this apartment. That’s longer than I’ve lived anywhere absent my parental units. It was my fifth residence since leaving college, third apartment I was paying for, first apartment I lived in alone, and the place in which I finally got my shit together. It’s where I grew up, learned to operate as an independent agent, loved two incredible men, survived heartbreak and loneliness, resolved past missteps, made decisions that would shape my future for the better, and became happier than I have ever been in my life.
Most importantly, it is the place where I finally learned how to play strip poker. Do you know how embarrassing this knowledge gap has been at parties?!
(Just kidding, Mom.)
(I already knew how to play.)
In a very real sense, I am moving on to bigger and better things. I was recently honored with an actual writing contract, so I will be writing my first book for publication. I will be returning to school and finishing the degree I am so ready to earn now. I will be getting to know my extended family much better than ever before. I will be living in a quiet place, a welcome change after the frenetic pace of the city.
I’ve lived here before, but I am returning a different person. By the way, I’ll be going by Fred from now on.
It’s the last two years that have made this possible. No risk was spared in the creation of this life, and as a result I have become a person with whom I can be pleased and proud. Emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually, fiscally, socially, I am more ready to take on these challenges than I have ever been in my life.
I am at peace. The decision I made this time was the right one.