Sunday, November 24, 2013

Grayland Goodbye

Six months living in the house I found on Craigslist with three unfamiliar men (Grayland Manor origin story) and I hadn't once thought about moving out. Then all of a sudden we had three days until the lease was up.

The workload wasn't too horrible for me--I'd lived in this place for only six months, after all. I could be packed up in a few hours at worst. However, the Manor had been lived in and loved for three years, by a number of different people, many of whom were now living on the other side of the country and still hadn't claimed their belongings.

We had a wall papered in cheap beer boxes, chairs, a pair of briefs that had been under the couch since before time itself, a fondue set, inspirational posters about day-drinking, mystery sludge in the fridge, an entire Ottoman stuffed with raunchy magazines, and much, much more.

Fireman had moved out a month ago to start a new life with his kitten, so it was up to Metalhead, Billiards, and myself to sort the abandoned goods and clean the place.

After seriously debating the pros and cons of arson, we took a well-deserved break for Taco Bell. After our well-deserved Taco Bell break, we were tired from all the eating and driving, so we took a brief beer break, after which we went to bed for some well-deserved rest.

Procrastination is a sophisticated art, requiring some crafty self-manipulation. You have to convince yourself beyond a doubt, in the face of all logic and evidence, that you're completely within the norm to put off your work. You've got plenty of time, you should get a nice eight hours of sleep, that'll do you more good in the end, anyway.

Then, when you can't put it off anymore, you wake up in a fit of crippling self-loathing.

To make up for it, you have to scurry around in fits of panic, shoving things into boxes, throwing things away you would otherwise keep, getting the two piles mixed up and packing the lost-in-time-couch-briefs with the dishes and throwing away a new set of pots.

And then, since we didn't space out all the work we had, we had to stay in that state of panic for a good seventy-two hours. We staved off hunger with whatever scraps we found in cupboards, the occasional Taco Bell run, and adrenaline.

The final day found us haggard, confused, and skittish.

I had one mission. I repeated my commands over and over, determined to get it right. I needed Spackle for the walls and a replacement flusher-mechanism. But I'd had little sleep, I was hungry, and we had less than eight hours to evacuate the house. I approached the nearest Lowe's employer and appealed to them for aid.

I don't know what crisis the people at the Lowe's thought I was experiencing, but they got me the merchandise quickly and spoke in soothing voices. I returned with the goods and we began a horrifying day of fast-paced moving and home improvements.

Fireman came by to help out with some of the heavy lifting, and my future roommate Bob joined briefly to laugh at how much work we still had ahead of us. Occasionally my past and future roommates spoke to me like I was an alien, worried I was going to get emotional and start sobbing on the balcony in a fit of nostalgia or something.

Metalhead, Fireman, and Bob left to start moving into the new house, so only Billiards and I remained, chucking dishes into boxes and throwing clothes into dumpsters indiscriminately. We finally left the empty house I had come to love, moments before the landlord arrived with the new tenants.

Leaving the Grayland Manor behind bummed me out, but it wasn't so bad. I just moved a few miles down the road with the friends I had made during my time at the manor. And the small (exceptionally large) part of my brain that views my life as a book and myself as a protagonist saw the making of a sequel to the first hit novel, this one titled The Southside Estate, or maybe Look I'm Still Relevant In These People's Lives and that Makes Me Happy Because I'm Afraid of Being Alone.