Friday, December 10, 2004

Home Sweet Homes

For the most part the move into my new apartment is complete. I have to head over to the old one today and haul out some miscellaneous detritus, do some cleaning, then sneak over to the landlady's place and drop the keys off in her mailbox. I cannot express how wonderful it feels to have any type of ambient light find its way into my living room again. That said ambient lihgt is coming through an ungodly large bay window is even more heartwarming.

I did the move myself, just like last year, with a mover's dolly and a head start on the sunrise. I transferred the heavy stuff first (couch, dresser, mattress/box spring, other furniture) and had that all in by noon. Then it was just a matter of moving what I could finish before sunset and pack up what needed to be moved today.

You don't realize what you accumulate until you start to sort through it for packing. sorting through papers in my office I was stunned at the sheer volume of press releases, interview notes, proposals for work, lost invoices, stamp booklets, and disk files that I thought were lost to goblins. It's at that moment that you also realize just how terrible a housekeeper you are. I've always made sure that my aprtment was clean for company, but at times yesterday I felt like I was walking through a dustbowl.

I've resigned myself to the knowledge that I'm goping to need a new cabinet for the office, an a/v cabinet for the stereo equipment, and a larger bookcase to accommodate the oblong books in my library. I'm sure that once I do this the apartment will start to feel a lot smaller than it actually is. But that's the nature of accumulation.

As I was finishing the heavy stuff yesterday my nosy Sicilian neighbor finally asked if I was moving. She's not a big fan of the old landlady and constantly lists her litany of misdeeds to me: she doesn't keep up her property, she bought a bad building and hasn't invested the money to improve it, she rents to "coloreds." The last one she spat out at me yesterday. I returned fire by asking her about the white trash couple that keeps half of Union Avenue awake in the middle of the night with their inane arguments over who drank the last Diet Rite soda and who was the father of the last baby they gave up for adoption.

She grabbed my hand with a strength that should not be found in an eighty-year-old woman and lead me to her apartment, where she pulled out an eviction notice she had sent to said couple. "When they leave you can have the apartment $425 a month," she said. Considering how, by moving back into my old building I'm saving $200 a month in rent, this felt as if the spoils of war were mine for the taking.

I respectfully declined her offer as I had already moved my shit and I don't want to have a nosy Sicilian for a landlady all up in my business. There's something inspiring about people wanting you to live in their building. My old landlady, current landlord, and the nosy Sicilian all said I was "good people." I don't know whether that's a testament to me actually being a good person or just having lived in Bridgeport so long now that i could be considered a native. but it's nice to feel wanted in any way.

So I need to get shaking so I can start unpacking. I have plans to see Chris Hyatt's film Eye of Cruelty this evening. Depending on how long the Q&A runs after the movie I also want to head to Logan square for some roller derby featuring the Windy City Rollers.

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