THE LAST FIVE ...

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Thursday, Nov. 15, 2001 - 7:26 p.m.

Moving, Stage 1

It was a productive day, not too bad, only now I'm sitting here at work struggling, fighting this headache and the bright lights and slight chill of the newsroom. Temperatures reached the UPPER-FREAKIN'-60s today, so taking boxes down to the car from the house, then up to the apartment from the car, proved to be an exhausting endeavor.

I awoke at 9 a.m. to eat breakfast, then took care of some bill payments (can't lose those in the transition) and a little online business. By 12:30 I had three boxes, a plastic crate, a suitcase and a bag packed and in the car. Then I brought down two armloads of shirts and pants on hangers, laid them in the back seat, and went back inside for lunch. After lunch and a shower, off to Edgewater.

The ride took a little more than an hour, and as I tried to parallel park in a pretty big space on the narrow two-way street, I pulled up close to a white Pontiac Sunfire. Pulling into the spot, I realized I was too close to the car, so I tried to go the other way.

Then I heard the "CRUNCH," only it didn't really sound like a CRUNCH, more like a hollow THUMP like when you push in the side of a plastic swimming pool or ... a car door.

So I start sweating - you know, black car against white car. I cross the street and park in a lot and inspect the damage, which is little more than some white streaks at the back of my door on the passenger's side. I bend down and wipe them off with my hand. A good scrubbing should take care of the rest.

Then I go look at the other car, which has a few shorter, smaller streaks on the corner of the bumper. But I notice that they're on the right side too, so it's possible they were there before.

As I walk up to the apartment, Mig comes out moving some more of his stuff out -- he's been moving from Bergen County to Queens over the past few weeks, often making several trips a day.

When I go back downstairs, I see he's moved his white Pontiac Sunfire into the no-parking zone in front of the building and put on the hazard lights. But he tells me later it's a rental and he doesn't care if it gets scratched up.

Whew.

After my exercise -- moving the aforementioned boxes (oh, and my good, old-fashioned boom box -- radio and single cassette only) upstairs -- I look at my new room, empty yet full of possibility. While waiting for Lori to stop by, just so I can say hi, I chat with Mig, wander around the apartment, and see Betty for a few minutes while she moves the first of her things into the third bedroom. I feel slightly guilty looking at her small room and thinking about my large one -- with the big closet space too. But I did see the apartment first, like two months before she did, and I do know Lori better, and longer. And Lori is on my side as well, agreeing that I saw it first, committed first, and deserve the larger one. It's not our fault if Betty has so much stuff it won't fit. I will feel slightly guilty about the closet, but I'll certainly make use of it all. Maybe not with clothes, but with stuff.

At 4:23 I was in the car timing my commute. When it was all said and done, it was a one-hour, 15-minute drive over a dead-exact 62 miles. It would've been a shorter trip, too, if the stupid New Jersey Turnpike didn't have ONE FREAKIN' EZ-PASS LANE for those of us entering from U.S. 46 and three for those coming from NJ Route 3. Why they put up the cones to keep those of us from crossing over is beyond me. What, are those of us coming from Bergen County not as qualified as those in Hudson? The backup was certainly on our side, so we were the ones who needed more lanes. Screw all the New York commuters.

Ah, well, anyway, I'm here and I know that earlier today I had something I wanted to write here that would bring a tear to her eye, but it's so completely lost to me at this moment.

I don't know if I'll move tomorrow. I might catch up on all the TV shows and go through my photos to get all THAT organized for a later stage of The Move.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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