Moving in Winter: Reason #3

Now, moving to a new place in the middle of winter largely sucks. You should avoid it, trust me; I've done it twice now. Am doing it for the second time, since we're not quite done. Monday marks the end of our lease at the old place, so that's pretty much our drop-dead deadline to get things out and the old place cleaned and patched.

Moving while trying to not take any time off from a full-time job is a pain under the best of circumstances. Hauling heavy objects in bitter wind over snow and ice on cold days and through mud on not-so-cold days. Dealing with two! count them, two! expensive natural gas bills from two different domiciles if you have lease overlap.

And then there are friends who worriedly ask how the move is going and tut-tut that you're not done yet -- but these people, of course, haven't once offered to help. And if you suggest you could use some help, they cough delicately into their hands or rub their backs, saying "It's the cold. It plays hell with my system. Sorry, can't."

Thanks, bud. We appreciate it.

How does that joke go? Ah, yes: "Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies." Apparently Transitional Man is our only local friend; I haven't had a corpse for him to help with yet, but the way I've been feeling these days about Life, The Universe, and Everything, it may only be a matter of time before he gets presented with that little litmus test.

I'm digressing, aren't I? Oopsie.

Back to the point: why the hell are we moving in the middle of winter?

Reason #1: that's when we were able to buy the house we're moving into. Buying the house is a story unto itself, and I won't go into it here.

Reason #2: our apartment was expensive and falling apart. We moved into this apartment because our previous apartment got a roof leak that, left untreated by management, turned into a ceiling collapse. Because of my then-unemployment, we couldn't move someplace nicer. I see the signs in the ceiling worsening every day. Time to get out.

Reason #3: a drug dealer moved into the apartment townhouse three doors down from us.

Now, okay, since I haven't myself purchased illegals from him, all my evidence is pretty circumstantial. But there has been an awful lot of short-term traffic in and out of his apartment.

Case in point: Braunbeck was outside taking a 5-minute smoke break. In that time, three cars pulled up to the other apartment, and people got out, ran inside, ran back to their cars and peeled away. If they had passengers, the passengers noticed Braunbeck standing there and promptly covered their faces with their jacket collars or hands.

Yeah. He's selling Girl Scout Cookies in there.

Now, I'm not all about the War on Drugs. I think there are better ways of handling it. I think history pretty clearly lays out that prohibition is expensive, leads to police action that restricts civil liberties across the board (oh, how I love peeing in cups just to get a job!), and ultimately fails to keep people from abusing psychoactive chemicals.


Since this guy moved in, the character of our end of the complex has gone from old hippies and immigrant po' folk to some fairly shady characters hanging out at all hours. I am frankly afraid to be in my apartment alone after dark.

(Side note: Braunbeck just read this and told me that at one point a few weeks back he saw two guys, one of whom appeared to have a gun in his waistband, peeking in our back patio window. He opted not to tell me this because it would freak me out and we could do nothing about it. Consider me freaked out now.)

And there's a reason they call it drug "traffic". Our apartment is usually empty, and the apartment next to it has been empty since late summer. Four months ago we'd have seven or eight spaces open in the lot, four in front of our apartment and the one next door. Now? The lot is packed full after sundown, with strange cars in every space and every paved gap that might look like a space.

You know how hard it is to move furniture when you can't find a place to park near your own apartment? And when there's a nigh-constant stream of cars through the areas that aren't parked up? Very hard. And I know that none of the people taking the spaces in front of our place are actual rent-paying tenants of our complex.

Time to explore my feelings. What's that I'm feeling? Oh yes: burning homocidal rage. Every time I see the fucker's car.

Thank God we're almost done, else Transitional Man would be getting his litmus test.