"It was only possible for me to do it," he said, "because it was necessary. I either had to write the book or be reduced to despair; it was the only means of saving me from nothingness, chaos and suicide ... And while writing it, there was no need for me to think at all of any other reader but myself, or at the most, here and there another close war comrade, and I certainly never thought then about the survivors, but always about those who fell in the war. While writing it, I was as if delirious or crazy, surrounded by three or four people with mutilated bodies — that is how the book was produced."
--Herman Hesse, The Journey To The East
Okay, it's not that bad. Yes, there are boxes all over my house, in various stages of full or being filled, with cute little number tags on them and colored dots denoting them as being from this room or that room. Yes, my laundry room in particular looks like a tornado hit it, ripped out roughly half the contents and messily deposited a bunch of them in my living room. Yes, it's New Years frick'n Eve and rather than tripping the light fantastic at some fabulous party somewhere on Dallas's West End or Preston Hollow, I'm, uh, sorting stuff. But it's not the end of the world. For one thing, I didn't trip the light fantastic in Preston Hollow even when I knew somebody who lived there, and for another thing, I don't think I ever knew anyone who lived there. (Sally was one zip code digit away from qualifying. Sorry, Sally.) For a third thing, I think I'm going to be out of here by some time in March, and it would behoove me to, you know, be packed sometime before then. But, for the record, I HATE PACKING. I'd rather be dragged naked through flaming walls of rabid rattlesnakes.
Fortunately, Joan and I are pretty good at this. Back in San Diego we had it practically down to a science. I think we moved at least three times before the Big Move to Texas, which was accomplished in under twenty-eight days (albeit with the help of professionals and a much better housing market). There was the Move Across the Landing, for which we hardly packed at all and just grabbed stuff as it looked grabbable. There was the Move from the Crummy Apartment on the Other Side of the Landing to the Swank Two-Bedroom Two-Bath Overlooking Balboa Park, which took place on Valentines Day, in the pouring rain, on the day that the gutter at the crummy apartment building decided to give up the ghost and fall onto the sidewalk outside our front door. Which meant, of course, that every time we went in or out we had to jump over this sluice of water, like Indiana Jones swinging on vines or something, and while Joan managed the last trip with a screaming (wet) cat in a carrier, I was sitting on the floor in the new place, waiting for the phone guy, wrapped in a blanket because I couldn't figure out how to turn on the frick'n heater.
Then there was the Move to the Newly Purchased Condo, about which I've blissfully forgotten nearly everything except that it took place during the Year of No Holidays. We helped our friend Beth move out of her apartment Halloween night, I forget what happened for Thanksgiving but it didn't get celebrated either, and then we moved into the condo over Christmas break, so it's not like either of us felt like hauling in a tree after all that. Then on New Years Eve we were broke, having put all our money into the condo, so we weren't out tripping the light fantastic at some fabulous party in La Jolla or--well, you get the idea.
And in 2004, we moved to Texas. Two women, two cats, three movers, fifty-five boxes of books, and something like five thousand dollars (I think). One of the movers stuck his foot through our ceiling, which was bad because we technically didn't own the condo anymore at that point. We ended up having to write a blank check and a letter of apology to the new owners before we booked out of the state as fast as possible at the end of the day. Drove through the night and made it as far as Phoenix by about 3 in the morning. For all we know, the process servers are still trying to find us. We're just glad no one got hurt.
So. We have a storage unit. We are filling boxes with stuff and placing them in the storage unit. As soon as we've stripped this place to its bare bones (which will hopefully not take too much longer), and done some minor repairs with the help of a nice carpenter and my next pay check, the house goes "live" on the market. And then--
Well, then we have to find a place to live. A daunting task indeed for the faint of heart and hairless of chest.