Monday, 28 June 2010
After a final, abbreviated night of too-hot summer’s sleep we are up off our air mattress and back to the seemingly endless process of cleaning out 196 Hillside Street, Unit #3. This apartment has been my home since 2006, but between sub-letters, roommates, and grungy summertime squatters approximately 17 people have called this sunlit space their home along with me. Though Adam and I have spent a peaceful year living with Jenny “The Greatest Roommate of All Time” Giardina, the flotsam and jetsam of so many temporary residents is now coming to the surface. Having worked up until Friday, the weekend did not prove to be enough time to pack our bags and boxes, put 560 pounds of our belongs on a freight train bound for Oakland and rid our space of the remaining miscellany. Now, on a humid morning, instead of hitting the road bright and early we are still cleaning, moving spare coffee mugs, paperbacks and old shoes to the sidewalk and packing Adam’s Subaru for the journey before us. In the interest of being able to cook, sleep outside, go backpacking in almost every regional climate, take pictures and videos, do basic research, climb mountains, and ride our bikes for seven weeks we have packed the car and rooftop box more or less to capacity. Several hours are spent sweating boxes up and down the three flights of stairs and contending with a Thule bike rack before we are satisfied. Finally, after talking our way out of a garbage violation with the City of Boston police (we know its out early but we have GOT to get GOING), we say a hurried goodbye to our home (now under the new ownership of an Economics professors relocated to Northeastern University) and start down the hill. We turn the radio on and without warning Alice Cooper’s “Schools Out for Summer” comes blaring out. Perfect.
Adam and I are finally in our element. Having signed the sales side of a purchase and sales that very morning, and still just one weekend removed from full-time employment, it takes little time for us to come to terms with what we are setting out to do. In fact, after just a few miles on the road, I feel myself shed a long year of stress and hard work as if I am taking off a wool coat for the first day of Boston sunshine after another seemingly interminable winter. We have decided to jet all the way to Washington D.C this afternoon, where we will visit Adam’s old friend Paul Tilley. It seems fitting that this all-American journey should begin with a visit to our nation’s capital. For nearly ten hours we drive, through torrential rain in Connecticut that drops the temperature from the 90’s to the 70’s, across the George Washington bridge in New York City rush hour traffic, through the Garden State (where the only gardens we see from the road are farms growing endless corn), a sliver of Pennsylvania and then a foggy Delaware and humid Maryland, before we drop down into D.C. We arrive exhausted, both from driving and the cumulative sleep depravation of the days leading up to our move. After a semi-conscious reunion with Paul we fall dead asleep in the living room and rest uninterrupted until morning, at last with only our trip to look forward to upon waking. Phew.