Moving on Up, to the Least Side


Atlas holding up the world, which is slightly less heavy than our Attic Heirlooms dresser.

You know what’s really freaking fun? Moving. Right up there with dental work, airplane travel or talking politics with a Tea Party member.

We moved Sunday. It’s now Friday. The only muscle I can still use is the one in the finger typing this blog. Everything else is in the kind of pain usually reserved for watching a Miley Cirus VMA performance. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist. It’s actually in the blogging rules that you MUST include pop culture references that take over the planet for more than two weeks, and since the “Ben Affleck is Batman?” jokes had run their course…)

Moving heavy furniture does not jibe with my personal workout regimen, which currently consists of doing nothing physical at all and then taking a nap. I’m not just lazy, as those who follow my blog know well. I’m on disability and I have trouble keeping enough necessary vitamins and minerals in my body to manage tough stuff like brushing my teeth or climbing a flight of stairs. So what were our ex-roommate Jimmy and I doing moving our entire home full of heavy crap by ourselves? What we had to. Who else was going to do it?

For those who don’t know Jim, Jim is gay. Before you get all stereotypey, he grew up on a working farm and used to play very high-level volleyball. I was, I’m positive, slowing him down. The last time we moved I was working at a furniture store and the owner graciously allowed me to hire his son-in-law and another mover at a very good price. His son-in-law is an ox, mid-20s, maybe 6’3”, 240 and the other guy was just as big. Adam the ox said our furniture was the heaviest they had ever encountered. This was what we we up against (or, more frequently, under.)

We went and rented the truck in the early afternoon with Jimmy’s license because after everything was packed I couldn’t find mine. Surprised? Me neither. Little items like credit cards, licenses, and keys should be literally stapled to me forehead, not to remind me they are there, but as a form of punishment for stupidly losing them every time I sit on my couch. We were not ready for this. Jimmy had just starred in my play The Love Song of Sidney J. Stein that Friday, and now it was Sunday. I understand there’s a “coming back down to Earth” period after a show closes, but this was more like a “hurtling headlong through the troposphere and crashing back into the cold, cold ground like a flaming asteroid” period. At least that’s what it felt like when we were done.

The next eight hours (or were they days?) were a blur. A painful haze of sweat, Gatorade, Chinese food, more sweat, bruised and beaten muscles, extreme struggling exertion, more sweat and sweat. Did I mention the pain and the sweat? Good, I want to paint an accurate picture. Thank you Jimmy. I know your back will never be the same, but hey, I wrote a play for you, right? Right? Can you hear me, Jim, or did you pass out…?

Moving is one of the most exhausting things a person can do, physically and emotionally. There is only one good reason to put yourself through it, only one. Because you have no other choice. If it were up to me and I had no family I would live in a studio apartment with everything I needed within reaching distance of my recliner, and I wouldn’t move from that spot until there was a wrecking ball in my lap. Alas, there is more to consider than just myself. Like the fact that our not-so-gradually-shrinking income has continually forced us to downgrade and downgrade, chasing that extra $200 a month that will somehow deliver us from the almighty struggle. We haven’t caught it yet.

Since the time we owned our home (or at least shared it with the bank) we have had to move…let’s see…there was my mother’s (mistake), the cottage on the Irish Cultural Center grounds (even bigger mistake—never let the Irish be your landlords!), the place by the cow farm, the rented house in Durham that was sold from under us, the place we just moved from in Ellenville that we couldn’t afford and now this garden apartment. It’s fine, it’s a nice place and all that, but it’s just that we’re getting too old to be doing this every two years or so. Too old and too tired. After every time we’ve moved, Mary El has said something along the lines of, “That’s it! We’re staying here until we die, ’cause we’re never going through THAT again!” But we do. And do and do and do and do and do.

This one is it, though. We’re done, we give up. We have a good deal on a 14 month lease and they’ll have to pull us out of here with attack dogs when it’s up. We’re declaring ourselves the Sovereign Nation of Bankruptcy. Come get us if you have the guts. If you force us out we’ll just have to live in the parking lot with our excessively heavy furniture piled as a barricade on top of us. They did it in France, it can work here. The Petti Revolution.

Just don’t make us ever pick it up it again, Javier. Please. 

    • Anonymous
    • September 17th, 2013

    I always love reading anything you write. Always makes me laugh, even if it’s sad. Guess it’s just your wonderful outlook on everything, and your way with words. Love you so much Brian C. Petti.

  1. You too Aunt Teri~

    • Anonymous
    • September 17th, 2013

    Hey, how come it says anonymous?

    • theresa galimi
    • September 17th, 2013

    Hey, how come it says anonymous?

    • theresa galimi
    • September 17th, 2013

    never mind, just realized, lol

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