Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Oh when the saintly friends come marching in…

So many good and kind people have volunteered their help and support with this move and I am grateful. Whether or not I take you up on your offer depends almost entirely on the degree of weakness and panic your email/call finds me in.

Sarah’s email reached me in the middle of the night. How could I sleep – I knew that I had myself a hell of a problem with the house. True, the Chicago-bound movers would eliminate two rooms worth of furniture, but the junk would remain. Decades of junk (others call it “things of sentimental value” and I do admit that junk can have tons of sentimental value).

Magic words, uttered well after midnight as I sat staring at my computer screen, incapable of crafting let alone implementing a solution to the junk problem: what can I do to help?

They showed up this afternoon after I got home from work – Sarah K and Susanne D – with halos dangling somewhere between their heads and heaven. They took in the chaos and set to work, attacking a basement filled to the brim with … junk, a garage, oozing … junk, and various rooms containing more …junk.

I am beyond feeling guilty. I could never repay them for their help.
[my lame attempt to do so: hey, when your lives fall apart and you decide to break up your own families, I’ll be there! I’ll pack boxes and help you move!]

I admit, I am confused, disoriented and overwhelmed by it all. A batch goes to the loft, another to permanent storage (like, until I die or something), another to loft storage, another to Goodwill, still another to the recycling center, another to the garage sale and the last – probably the biggest, with several rooms’ worth of furniture and miscellanea – to the residences of hurricane victims moving to Wisconsin in the weeks ahead.

I have so much dirt underneath my fingernails right now that I may as well be a laborer with no intention of ever working a desk job. I am spent. And it’s not clear if all will be finished in time. I put on my brightest tone and say “it’ll get done, it’ll get done” and am greeted penetrating stares and gritty silences.

I think I talk and move as if I were on speed because occasionally, through clouds of dust and dirt, I catch Sarah peering at me in the way that one does when you think your friend is about to crumble in a heap and refuse to ever get up again. I think I am not convincing enough when I respond to the question “are you alright?” Perhaps next time I’ll cut my answer from the current 852 words to just one.

Did I say thank you? My God, let me not forget: Thank you.

And now the transition has occurred: I am about to experience my first night at the loft.
So, good-bye to views like this one, greeting me yesterday afternoon as I sat dowstairs at my computer.

New Haven Aug 05 117

To be replaced soon with something very different.