Saturday, June 18, 2016

Vowel Movements

My long national nightmare is over. The move to our new digs has now come to an end. This has been the personal worst two months of the 21st century, a hearty shit-stew filled with overwhelming stress, humiliation and damn near grovelling in order to find a place to live in this, the worst of times and the worst of times. It's amazing I have any self-worth at all after this homage to Torquemada I endured since April 5 and it will linger long, not just in the memory but in the bruised and battered spirit I am left with after all is said and done.

Fortunately, we were rescued at the last minute (hey, just like in the movies!) by some beloved family members who have leap-frogged into the front of the line when the final will and testament is read (not like I'll have anything to leave them. Ssh. It's our little secret)

Our search for a new home did become a learning experience. Here are three fun facts I'd like to share.

1. LEASING AGENTS ARE THE NEW USED CAR DEALERS

These lying little weasels will do in their power anything to rent you a place,  but will throw every obstacle in the book to prevent you from doing so. Sure, they're bound by a new set of restrictions that make the task of moving more arduous than ever. It's just the seem to revel in the proceedings now, smiling while they're holding a knife to your throat.

2. FITNESS CENTERS ARE THE NEW CUP HOLDERS
When we were car-shopping in the 90s, salesmen were gaga over cup holders, as though they were a major selling point. Some had no idea what kind of mileage a vehicle could get, but hey, here's another cup holder in the back! With apartment sites, they lead with the fitness center. That and the clubhouse are always updated and spotlessly clean, mainly because they sit right beside the office and will be the first things you see when you enter the property. But when you actually see the unit that is available, the quality may surprise you since it takes a nosedive if it's older than five years. We toured a 20 year old complex with an updated state of the art fitness center and clubhouse that were immaculate. Then when we viewed the unit on the far side of the property, it felt as though we were headed into the Heart of Darkness. In fact, one of the maintenance guys looked suspiciously like Col. Kurtz, muttering "The horror, the horror..." as he steam-cleaned a carpet. Or maybe he was referring to the slob sun-bathing in the parking lot. I don't know. What I do know is that if the website shows photos of the fitness center and clubhouse ONLY, stay away, Joe.

3. APARTMENT COMMUNITIES ARE THE NEW AIRLINES
These scumbaccis tack fees onto everything these days, just like their demonic brethren in the sky. Parking, storage, you name it, they'll add it. Air conditioning and lighting? Are you mad? You will be. Naturally, utilities are extras, so basically, you get a space, the final frontier. Love it and lump it, sucka.

4. DOWNSIZING AIN'T FOR SISSIES
Going from a two bed/two and half bath townhouse w/ garage to a one bed/one bath apartment meant getting rid of a lot of stuff in ore ways than one. Goodwill has been graced with a ton of donations from yours truly in the last month and it still isn't enough. We had to rent a (hopefully) temporary storage unit for the rest of our cuh-rap. The freedom we enjoyed before had to be sacrificed as well including my office and of course sharing bathroom again for the first time in 11 years. Yeah, I know. First world problems. But downsizing has also come to mean a lack of self in this already difficult world. Soon it's all a rebuilding process, not easy in any stage of life but particularly difficult as these latter years. I felt as though we were in an American remake of an Ozu film. Somehow, HILLBORO STORY doesn't have the same ring.

5. THE WEATHER IS NOT MY FRIEND
Ever since we've migrated here from Callyfornya at the end of the last century, we've run into inclement atmospheric conditions on Moving Day. First it was an introduction to rain forest conditions when we made like Lewis and Clark. The following three times were the hottest days of that particular year. 2016 was no exception. Three straights days of 100 + temps. I haven't lost so much water weight since my last flu. My mind is gone too, but the weather only contributed to its loss to a minor degree. I may have left it in the old place, probably in the garage.

But as I said, we made it. We're here and alive to tell the tale. What hasn't killed us only makes us stronger. Yeah, I get that but fuck you anyway, Nietzsche. Just remember these words, for this I do swear. The next time I move will be to a cold hole in the ground.

And on that cheery note...