Soon this whole moving thing will fade into little more than a backstory that we tell. It will fold into a description of ourselves with a simple line of "we lived in San Francisco for 5 years before relocating to New York". We will laugh one day or maybe we will look at the ground, speechless, and shake our heads instead when the subject of this move comes up.
Moving day was this past Tuesday. It feels like it was a week ago but really it was only 4 days ago. That morning Judy lightly touched my arm to wake me up. It was showtime and the haze for me wasn't lifting fast enough. I was so busy not falling asleep while feeding the baby all night that it didn't even sink in that it was my last night in our place. One good thing about the timing is that I haven't really had time to get too sentimental, all things being relative.
After two pots of coffee brewed all over the counter, dripping down the cabinet fronts and tragically pooling on the floor, the third was successful. Soon Judy and I were caffeinated, running into each other and, like a scene out of a sit-com, throwing things completely at random into boxes. We ended up moving wet towels and dirty dishes. I didn't mean for it to be like that but I'm willing to go easy on myself this one time. I did just deliver into this world ten pounds of pure perfection 11 days earlier.
Ada kept busy by drawing stick figures on all of the boxes. There is unlikely to be confusion as to which boxes belong to the Shepherd family. Every single one of ours has been doodled on by my three year old. I do like her stick figures. This one happens to be daddy. Centipede daddy.
The guys arrived a little after 10 and moved like locusts through the rooms of my house until by 4:00 there was nothing left but a fur-covered cat tree and a torn leather dining room chair. Surreal at best.
I spent part of the time on the futon with Ingram watching other people do my heavy lifting.
The other part of the time was spent on Ada's crib mattress in the closet nursing the baby. Speaking of, when she arrived home from her final date with the nanny, Ada was upset to find her bed was gone. It was merely the preamble to a long, restless night.
Speaking of restless, Beta, who is normally pretty mellow, was so freaked out that I hit her with a half a mg of alprazolam. Apparently that dose will be good for travel. She sat in Ada's room, unable to control her hind legs, and looked at me suspiciously. Today when I went back to clean up the apartment a bit she hid behind the stove. Poor thing.
Once the movers had gone I looked through the rooms of our house. There was nothing in them anymore. Even though my eyes could see plainly that there was nothing left my mind couldn't make the leap. When I looked around I could still see it full of our stuff and our life. I even moved through the rooms as if all the furniture was still in place. The empty closets and echos make it clear that the party is over.
I was driving in the city the next day and passed by a favorite place of mine. Briefly I thought, "Oh, bummer. We'll never go there again." Then I realized that while I may go there again, it will be different. It will be different because we don't live here anymore.
I have to say it again to make it real:
We don't live here anymore.