July 08 2012
Hey! I moved! And I typed words on this here place again! I plan to type alot more and alot more often too! Somehow moving jolted my brain free! Spirit recharged!
And here’s Part I of a three part series!
After close to ten years in the same apartment it was time for a change up. My Gff (girlfriend/fiance) and me found a great place a whole eight blocks away and July 1st was moving day!
In the past when I moved — I just hired random dudes. Ripped a flyer off a pole that was $15 per man per truck per hour type of deal. Bunch of russians would show up and do the job. No frills. No talking. Just the vague feeling that if I overstep somehow I’ll end up murdered and scattered throughout Brooklyn.
But the Gff told me that she feels it’s always worth it to hire “reputable” movers. Moving is stressful enough without having to worry about frill-less dudes throwing your stuff around like airport luggage — but me, being an idiot in all things practical, begged to differ. Why waste money on ‘good’ movers?
We put the “discussion” aside and I vowed to take care of it my way. It was one of those moments in a relationship where we both said, ‘Trust me…’ In this situation, I trusted me. I decided I knew what was best. And I should know better.
Before leaving things in my hands, the Gff warned me that July was a busy month for movers and I should book someone asap — so I immediately sprang into action by thoroughly procrastinating for a week or so.
When I actually started making calls I found out that most places were booked. I scoured Yelp for positive reviews of local movers. Everyone was booked except for two places. One reputable high-end mover with a catchy name and local yokel random dudes.
The reputable movers were like triple the cost and very responsive and professional. The random dudes were almost uncomfortably inexpensive and communicated with one liner punctuation-free emails.
I decided to go with the random dudes mainly because I was unconcerned about our actual stuff. For the most part we have nothing major or fragile or antique. Couch, bed, clothes, table here, chairs there. Boxes and boxes of books. Anything we were concerned about (computers, tv) we could move ourselves the day before etc… Right?
After days of exhausting, grumpy packing and hard partings with sentimental stuff (dusty shoebox of notes from high school girlfriend, fraternity beer mug, mounds of paper with cartoon scribblings of half-baked ideas) — we were set. 10AM the doorbell rings. My movers had arrived. 10AM on the dot. A good start.
I happily headed downstairs only to open the door to a guy who looked like a long lost Ramone. Rail-thin dude with jet black hair. Covered in tattoos. Maybe 5 foot 6. Black Converse kicks. He looked exhausted already. Maybe because he came straight from a gig out in Staten Island.
Behind him was a very large van (aka NOT A TRUCK!?). Out of the back of the van pops another rocker. Small and skinny. Spiked up hair with blonde streaks. Tattooed to the chin. Striped eyebrows. He wore a ratty WASP t-shirt and acted suspiciously overfriendly and cheery. I prefer my movers stoic.
Third from the van was a large red headed Irishman. I felt relief. At least one of these guys looked like they could carry something bigger than a folding chair. But the Irishman plopped himself down on the bed of the van and lit a cigarette with a nodded hello and a smoky wave.
Lost Ramone said, “Ok man. Let’s check it out…” And up the stairs he went tugging up his ultra tight skinny jeans to prevent a buttcrack flash. I questioned his outfit considering it was literally 95 degrees outside.
He walks in the door and introduces himself. The Gff takes one looks at my skinny rocker mover and then gives me a quick look that declared immediate spiked-football victory over our previous argument about which movers to hire.
Lost Ramone starts counting the boxes with a look of concern. I told the ‘Boss’ we’d have about thirty when I booked it. It turned out to be 50+. (various sizes). My bad. But I figured three men for three hours and a truck. For three hours — what’s the difference? Lost Ramone said he was concerned about not enough having room in the van.
Gff was like, ‘…wait… Van?’
The move starts. Skinny dudes doing the heavily lifting while big Irishman basically supervised the van load and smoked cigarettes. I’m helping things along, carrying boxes etc and trying to make the best of it — when all of a sudden Spiky Hair comes running up to me absolutely desperate for water.
At first, I thought he was way thirsty. Then he told me that a box they were carrying was leaking bleach everywhere and all over them. He reeked of bleach. I run downstairs to the stoop. Bleach was everywhere. Down the steps. All over the sidewalk. Trailing to a wet box upside-down and broken open in the gutter.
I headed upstairs to get water. When I told the Gff what happened I felt initially guilty because we may have packed the jug without making sure the cap was on twisted tight — but Gff said, ‘Why are they turning the boxes upside-down?’ I was like, ‘Yeah… How did that box end up upside down anyway?’ A box labeled ‘Bathroom’ with loose stuff inside. It’s not like I packed for UPS shipping. I packed for moving.
The van fills up and fills up and fills up and it becomes apparent they’re not going to be able to make it in one trip. Which upsets them further and me further and the Gff further. Then the Lost Ramone comes up to me sweaty and exhausted and says, ‘Shit man. I gotta go soon.’
I was like, ‘What? Wait?! Go where?! I was told I hired three guys for three hours!’ This was at the end of hour one. 11AM! He told me he had another moving gig. Told me I miscounted boxes and they thought this was a smaller job. I look over and see the other two guys struggling to shove my (un-plastic wrapped) mattress into the back of the dirty van.
I was like, “You’re leaving?” He told me he had to go. Boss assigned him to another job. Spiky haired guy comes up to me with his bleach Drakkar and tells me they don’t think they’ll have time for two trips either. I whined that it was only 8 blocks away. He explained I’d have to call the Boss to get approval for them to ‘do the full move’.
I dialed the Boss up on my cell as I watched the two guys struggle to slam the back doors of the van like an overstuffed suitcase. The call to the Boss went straight to voicemail.
Meanwhile the Gff had floated into a numb daze. She either blocked out or ignored the two guys throwing themselves against the van doors like linebackers to get them closed. She cheerily told me she was going to head up the street to get three Gatorades for the guys.
I said, “Just get two…’
(Part II tomorrow…)