What a last few days it has been. I'm finally moved out of the old apartment and into a basement just outside of Elmwood Park. My aunt warned me that it was just an unfinished basement, but I wasn't quite ready for it. It's cold and damp, very dungeon-like, but unlike most of my ex-girlfriends, I don't get off on dungeons. I don't know what the people on the 1st floor were doing Saturday night, but all of a sudden, water started dripping from the ceiling onto one of my many unopened cardboard boxes, and I could do nothing to stop it. So yeah, it's a trip. It's where my life has led me though, so I just have to deal.
Last Wednesday morning, I put on my new suit and went to the second interview for the data processing job with J.P. Morgan Chase knowing that I should have been moved out the night before and that I had to work double time to get moved out later that day. My nervousness showed up when I spent ten minutes looking for the address even though I brought my datebook with the correct address with me. But I settled down and gave my usual calm if not boring interview, then I got out of there. They said that I would hear from them in a week if they wanted to hire me. Then I went home and packed and wrapped nonstop until my dad arrived with some guy to help with the move around 4P. We went to U-Haul a few blocks away and rented a sizable truck, then they had dinner for about an hour while I continued to pack. But I ran out of time and strength, so we had to come back the next day. The bad thing about moving the stuff that we did move is that I got nauseous and threw up around 9P, even though I had not had anything unusual to eat, and I was very weak from that point on. And the guy my dad brought was an older skinny guy, late 40s to early 50s, and he wound up having to carry the load because I wasn't much help. That pissed me off. I hate throwing up, especially when I don't know why. We got the U-Haul to the basement after midnight, and a younger guy who lives on the 1st floor of my building was on his way to the store and decided to help us unload, so that wound up taking only 40 minutes. We gave him our cell phone numbers and he told us that he would help us the next day. But he never called. So Thursday was worse, because the older guy was unavailable and instead my dad brought an older woman, and she had to lift the heavy stuff with me because my dad was sick. She was tough and hung in there, but she dropped a case of tapes and broke it. She complained about her back later, and I felt bad because I'm sure my dad didn't tell her that she would have to help me move when he brought her there. He told me that she was there to help me with cleaning the apartment once I moved everything out of there. The worst feeling was when my dad asked several times why I didn't have any male buddies helping out. I had to tell him that I have no male buddies, but I didn't have an answer why. I guess it's because I see guys as a threat. I can't enjoy some dude's company because I'm always comparing myself to him and wondering why he can get a good woman and I can't, or if he's single, which one a woman would choose if it was between him and me. I would stop doing that because I know it's unhealthy, but I can't. It sucks to know that I'm not good enough for most of the world, but it's torture to keep measuring myself and reaffirming the fact.
I tried to write a note Thursday night to my landlady and leave it on my kitchen table along with my keys. I wanted to tell her that I would definitely be back that weekend with a friend to clean the apartment, but the two pens that I tried to use to write the note both ran out of ink. So I just left my keys and took the one hour bus ride back to Elmwood Park. The little mini-fridge that the previous "tenant" left in the basement doesn't work. I plugged it in and turned it all the way up Wednesday, but as of this moment, it's still not cold. So I've been drinking warm soda and juice since I moved in. Of course, if I wanted something to get cold, I could leave it on the concrete floor, and it would get cold quickly. I cannot stress this enough: It's an unfinished basement, and it is COLD. I've got several layers of sweatclothes on when I try to go to sleep, along with two comforters and a blanket on the bed. I'm still sleeping on a mattress sitting on eight milk crates, but I'm no longer on carpeting but rather on the aforementioned concrete floor, so there's a lot of shifting and sliding whenever I try to get into bed and during sleep. I'm probably going to have to readjust the crates daily. You can fill in the blanks in your mind what the rest of the place looks like. You've all seen a dungeon before--dark, dank, looks like it's freezing even when it's not, spider webs everywhere...all it's missing is a wooden torture rack, some handcuffs, and a mistress holding a cat-o-nine tails. There are some signs that someone once lived there, such as the posters on the wall and the many hangers of clothes dangling from the pipes. But it's still a dungeon. The dream I had the first night I slept down there was really fucked-up. Basically, I dreamed that I was at an airport with my family going on a family vacation, which we've never done before, and all of my ex-girlfriends kept walking past me in the terminal, then I saw some woman, I don't remember who, and I just had to be with her, so I traded in my ticket for one to go where she was going. Then a friend who worked with me at CEDA and who in real life helped me clean the old apartment Saturday showed up in tears, and I remembered that I had agreed to take a trip with her. So I tried to trade in my ticket again, and my uncle basically ripped me a new one, which he has done before in the past when I fuck up, and I woke up with that lovely feeling I seem to have of disappointing everybody and letting people down. That's a hell of a feeling to have after any dream; this time, I looked around after I woke up and realized that I'm 30 years old and living in someone's basement. Disappointment? Letting everyone down? That's an understatement. So yeah, I was feeling pretty low at that point.
But I've heard that it's always darkest before the dawn. The next day, Friday, I was lying in bed virtually all day because my body was sore from the move and because I didn't want to come from under the covers because I was freezing. I turned the ringer to my cell phone off at 3:30P and took a nap, then woke up an hour later to find that I had a message. It was Mary, the woman from Chase who gave me the first interview back on Thursday, Jan. 26. She offered me the job. I said yes. I screwed that up too, though, because she only offered me $10 per hour instead of the $11 she told me during the interview. I accepted a bit too soon. I asked her today if there was anything she could do about it, and she said she could write to the suits in HR and see if my request can be obligated, but that's it. I really don't care though. I got a fucking job! It's not minimum wage, so I'm not worried about an extra dollar an hour. That's what over a year of unemployment will do to you. It's Thursday through Monday from 8A-3:30P, allowing me Tuesday and Wednesday to do homework for my classes on those nights. I got the drug test and fingerprints done today, and I officially start next Monday.
I'm doing this blog entry at school because I still haven't gotten a connection for my phone line back at the dungeon; therefore I can't get on the internet. The phone company came out twice, but both times they told me that they only had to work outside and didn't have to come in, so I wasn't home. But Saturday, while I was cleaning the old apartment, the guy called me on my cell phone and told me that apparently I'm missing a wire and that they did have to get in to the basement to fix it. My play aunt and her daughter, who lived downstairs from me all 18 years of my childhood, live on the second floor of this building, so they would have a copy of my keys to let anyone in, except I haven't made a copy yet. The guy told me he would come back yesterday, when I would be home, but he faked me out. He said at about 3:30P that he would be there in an hour, but I never heard from him again, and he turned his cell phone off so I couldn't contact him. I had to call the company this morning and set up a whole new appointment, and they won't be back until Thursday. The good news is that DirecTV will be out tomorrow. Dungeon schmungeon--nigga's gotta have his phone line and cable. But I'm so happy to be employed again. I should have the money saved up by the time this semester is over in May to make a drama-free transition into a new apartment. I just have to remember to save a few hundred bucks for a moving crew. As I sat in the U-Haul with my dad Wednesday night, both forearm muscles and biceps as well as my stomach muscles severely cramping, hands swollen, shoulders hurting, fingers throbbing from being pinched between boxes and walls and furniture, nose and throat sore from all the dust, and feeling nauseous again, I told him as far as the next move: "Never again." I'm throwing out a lot of the stuff that I moved, and I'm hiring people to lift the rest of the shit. I freely admit--I'm soft as Pillsbury, and I am not going through this nightmare again.