Thursday, July 1, 2010
8:30am – Wake up, clean up, and eat up. Coffee can’t erase my tiredness. Wish I could sign lease from bed.
9:10am – Leave for rental office.
9:40am – Arrive at rental office. Can’t find parking space in front of building, so I park in adjacent lot that has signs threatening to tow me. Cross my fingers that car will still be there in an hour.
9:43am – Enter office, which is busy with staff doing three things at once. All the students are moving out of town, leaving dozens of properties open, leading to increased activity. I pet the office poodle and tell her she should help pick up the slack by learning to type.
10:00am – Read through lease, but stop to say hi to new landlord who has same name as my neurologist. Uncertain who will be charging me more money.
10:30am – Finish signing contract indebting me thousands of dollars over the next year. Try to remember all the rules about sorting recycling, noise levels, and parking spots, but know I am destined to become an enemy of the community association when I inevitably confuse the corrugated and uncorrugated cardboard bins. Get keys.
10:32am – Car still parked where I left it. Ha! Take that office park! I laugh at you and your empty threats!
10:45am – Inspect apartment, fill out maintenance sheet, noting burnt-out porch light and nail holes in wall. Leave to start unloading stuff from my car.
10:50am – HOLY SHIT! WASPS! WASPS! RUN!!
10:51am – Skedaddle down front steps, escaping four wasps that have built a small nest on the inside of the screen door, which is hanging slightly off track.
10:52am – Move remaining possessions from my car into apartment using back entrance.
11:30am – Stop at hardware store and find the insecticide aisle, browsing dozens of varieties of death in a can. Buy name-brand wasp killer instead of generic. Probably doesn’t make a difference, but I want to make sure I don’t wound something I don’t kill. Think this is a quote from a movie, though not sure which.
12:00pm – Return to Big Bro’s house in Durham. Tell Baby Bro about wasps. He sighs, but does not complain. Seems resigned to fate of endless suffering today.
12:30pm – Take long way to apartment so Baby Bro doesn’t have to navigate narrow city streets. Back up truck to sidewalk, brushing against several inconvenient tree limbs.
12:40pm – Use rarely-seen wood saw attachment of Swiss Army knife to do some improvised yard work. Thank you, Swiss Army! Keep eyes open for disapproving agents of the community association. Complete illicit yard work without incident.
12:45pm – Grab wasp spray. Approach screen door. DIE, WINGED WARRIORS! DIE!!
12:47pm – Three wasps fall to their deaths. One escapes and vows revenge on me and my kin.
12:50pm – Start unloading truck. Baby Bro carries boxes halfway up stairs to landing. I take boxes off landing, up the remaining stairs and carry them to appropriate rooms.
1:20pm – Screen door hinges are on inconvenient side of the frame, blocking the front stairwell when it opens, making it hard to carry in bookcases. We throw them over the railing from the stairs, balancing them like an underage Chinese gymnast.
1:36pm – Remaining wasp returns, his flight fueled by thoughts of sweet revenge for his fallen comrades. I leap for the spray bottle of death.
1:37pm – Lone wasp falls to his death, leaving his dreams of vengeance twitching on the floor.
2:00pm – The screen door keeps falling farther off its hinges the more we open and close it. Add this to maintenance list.
2:10pm – We break for lunch and eat gyros and hummus at a Mediterranean deli.
3:00pm – Oh God. So. Full. Can’t move. Drive around town, showing Baby Bro the sights while we digest.
3:45pm – We carry the rest of my earthly possessions into my apartment.
4:45pm – After hydrating, we leave truck parked in lot and drive the Saturn to fetch Baby Bro a reward of ice cream. Pull into McDonalds to get McFlurry in the drive-thru.
4:56pm – HOLY SHIT! This McDonalds doesn’t have a drive-thru! Did not know such things occurred in nature. Is as bizarre as sighting a two-headed turtle.
5:15pm – Arrive at Big Bro’s house in Durham just as sister-in-law is coming home. Tell her about McDonalds without drive-thru. She tells us that is because of city ordinance. No big-box stores are allowed in Chapel Hill either. This means that closest Target is 15 minutes away. Have discovered first negative thing about my new neighborhood, but can cope.
6:00pm – Hang out.
8:00pm – Eat dinner.
9:00pm – About to collapse for a nap on my table mat. Make my good-byes and grab the confused feline members of the family for final trip. Must be traumatizing. Wonder how I’d feel if someone snatched me, locked me in a shipping container, and sent me to an unknown location without my consent.
9:20pm – Arrive at apartment. Screen door is gone! Either there is an illicit ring of door thieves operating in Chapel Hill, or the maintenance man dropped by and took it.
Or perhaps I’ve underestimated the wasps…
9:22pm – Tired, yet feel compulsion to unpack basic items like peanut butter, bread and coffeemaker. Leads to unpacking more items and then more.
11:00pm – Finally force myself to stop unpacking. Inflate air mattress. Lie down to sleep.
11:01pm – BEEP!
11:02pm – BEEP!
11:03pm – BEEP!
11:04pm – Realize that the fire detector in the vacant apartment below me has a low battery. Is emanating warning beep every minute, on the minute. Too late to call maintenance about it. Get earplugs out of purse because I am prepared like that.
11:30pm – Conk out. Sleep like a dead wasp.
To be continued