So the stage was set. Steak? Check. Booze? Check. Friends? Check. Lots of shit needing to be unpacked? Check. I was forgetting something… Oh right. I didn’t own a grill.
Grill/groceries/booze and two hours later we were ready. Park and Michelle were on the deck trying to figure out how to assemble the grill when the instructions consisted of only pictures. I couldn’t trust Michelle near fire unattended, and Park had helped load us up, so we decided they needed a break. We ended up with a two stage unloading process; one team unloaded the truck to the parking lot while the other carried it up the stairs. Thanks to four extra sets of hands we managed to get everything unloaded before 8. We were starving, but everyone was afraid to light the grill. It’s not that I didn’t trust Park or my sister, it’s just that I had a strong desire to live to see tomorrow and handling combustible chemicals via pictures doesn’t fill me with comfort. We all cowered behind furniture and boxes for that first test light. “Late as always Layla” took over the cooking of the steaks while the rest of us tried to recover from the repeated trips up and down the stairs.
It was after dinner that we met our first neighbor. Specifically, Albert. Albert is a middle aged man who lives across the hall and one floor down. Albert doesn’t really fit in with many of the residents as he has a tendency to leave his door open blaring hip hop loud enough to be heard from the parking lot. Albert first came around when Jeff was unloading his car. Apparently Albert had been drinking and asked Jeff to give him a ride to “that there check cashing place”. Jeff mumbled something and promptly ran away.
After all the drama of the move, the unloading was probably the easiest part. Unpacking would take weeks: I slept on a love seat for the first week before I could work up the energy to go buy a new mattress and bed. Jeff and I learned a lot though:
- You’ll have crazy neighbors wherever you go.
- Save time and energy. Hire movers.
- Never underestimate your friends. Especially their ability to move your belongings while drinking.
- Lemon pepper is probably not the best seasoning for steak. Any port in a storm I suppose.
- Don’t wait until 1am to take a shower after unloading. What do you mean there’s no hot water? Yeah, the hot water heater is outside. I don’t know why the pilot won’t light. Yes I’m doing it right.
- To have hot water, it helps to call and connect gas service. The apartment complex maintenance guy will laugh at you otherwise.
- The nice lady at the gas company will put a rush on your order if you give her your heart rending tale of multiple cold showers.
- Always make sure your heat works when you move in. Several weeks into our first month the temperature dipped into the 20s. It got cold.