Monday, January 27, 2003

Brand new life, Brand new life, Brand new life around the bend

So I moved to Washington.

Mom and I loaded up the U-Haul and my car and drove up I-5. It took much longer to load the trailer than we thought, but was easier to drive. Some rain seeped in the back, but nothing was permanently damaged, except the back of the bookshelf I commandeered from NE, and then sat on and stepped through while loading and unloading it. It still stands and brightens up the room, so I’m thrilled to have it. The desk is a little worse for the wear – scratched on top – but since there will always be things on it, I don’t really mind. The biggest casualty of the move was me. While Eric the Discount Mattress delivery guy was still assembling the bed we bought before even arriving at the Heritage Place apartments in Burlington, before he began helping us carry the heavier stuff up the one flight of stairs to my apartment because I offered an additional $25 to do so, I was in the trailer untying something and whacked my head against the doorframe to the U-Haul. Mom asked if I was okay and I said, while clutching my head, “Uh, well, I don’t need stitches or anything, but it really hurts.” When I removed my hand, it was sticky and wet…”Oh, maybe I do need stitches.” But I could tell it wasn’t as bad as the time I hit my head on the bottom of my freezer door in my apartment in Westwood. That time I had to sit down on the ground, and then use JK’s plastic fishy ice cube things as a cold compress. When, hours later and after showering, the bleeding hadn’t stopped, JK took me to the ER where they stapled my scalp back together. It was cool.

But I digress. The stuff all got carried up, and I got bullied into finding a U-Haul guy who would take the trailer off for us even though it was 4:55 and he closed at 5, and we weren’t there yet. Washington people are so nice! And not in that irritating way.

Besides my massive head wound, the only other downside of the move was that Emerald didn’t take it well. He sat on top of all our stuff looking out the window for the whole drive. I put his harness on him and tied him to a seat belt thingy so we wouldn’t lose him in the luggage, and also so he wouldn’t crawl up onto our heads while driving. I wouldn’t have minded, but it probably would have distressed my mom sufficiently that I would have crashed the vehicle trying to protect her. He was extremely well-behaved in our Stockton and Salem motel rooms. I put him on a chair with his heating pad and untied his harness and he didn’t even move all night. As I was signing my lease, I ignored the clause saying absolutely no pets (without the express permission of the owner) because I hardly think one little five-foot iguana counts. But there was a later statement that actually mentioned “exotic animals in cages.” I waffled about that as the manager outlined several important details, such as the $100 fee if I don’t clean the toilet before I move, and the mold and mildew addendum to the lease. I figured it would be no problem to get him in the apartment without her knowing, but what if they found out later and evicted me? I have a lot of stuff! So when we got to the third mention of non-human tenants – a form to fill out advising of any pets – I said “I do have a lizard in a cage…is there a deposit for that?” And she said no. So Emerald is here legally. I signed the form and everything. (Kinda makes you wonder why there are two sections of the lease prohibiting pets when there is a separate pet form in the rental agreement…) He hung out in the corner near the fireplace while we unloaded the car and I left him there when we went to return the U-Haul, and eat, and buy a mattress pad at J.C. Penny’s and food at Fred Meyer, me with dried blood caked in my hair. I then assembled the cage and tried to take off the leash and put him in his home, and that’s when he freaked. He thrashed around so much that he bashed his nose against the wall trying to get away from me. So he and I both bled yesterday. He managed to get his harness pulled so tight across his ribs that I couldn’t get it off. He was also making his scary face, with his jaw open and his tongue sticking out. He was really mad. And scared. I just put him in the cage with the harness still on. Today he was calmer, but still wasn’t letting me get the harness off. I did pull it so it’s no longer constricting, though. I feel like a bad mom that he had such a hard time with the move. I thought it would be easy for him, this being his home state and all.

My apartment looks great though. I’m thrilled with my new wine rack, round kitchen table and Chinese silk pillow shams. My Bohemian champagne flutes made it here in one piece and I bought a martini shaker and glasses at Pier One today. Also picked up $50 worth of California wine at Granvella’s in Williams on day two of the drive. And I’m the proud owner of my very own DVD player. God, I spent a lot of money these past few days. American Express is only sporadically accepting my charges. It’s not used to this much activity.

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