We’ve just moved, and are getting settled in. (Editors Note: I suppose the ‘just’ is a little bit of an exaggeration. We moved on Halloween, and now we are well past Remembrance Day and hurdling towards the holiday season. Life got busy and messy, and this poor little blog sat on the sidelines for a solid week and a half. But allow us to commence). We moved on Halloween…which I would not recommend to anybody. There’s my advice to you: don’t be born on Christmas day, never eat ribs on a first date, and don’t move house on Halloween.
Despite all the planning, the weeks of packing and organizing, come moving day it’s like sinister little elves have broken into your house to add mysterious piles in every possible corner. Furthermore, no matter how clean you’ve maintained your residence, it suddenly seems an impossible task to contain the dust bunnies and vague smudges on the wall.
As Halloween is a pretty essential holiday on the kid calendar, I organized some birthday party characters for this big trick-or-treat extravaganza at the local mall…
…Right smack in the middle of moving day. I arrived to help set up, wearing a frock with dancing skeletons, the purple fascinator that I bought for my Kate Middleton costume secured on my head, and it was not thirty minutes earlier that I was trying to stick my body into the oven.
As the kitchen was impossibly small, I was having difficulties getting a proper grip on the oven cleaning venture. I could hardly get my head in to reach the back, and there was no space on either side to kneel, so it was a rather dangerous and awkward feat to wipe that son-of-a-bitch out. Put it this way…if Sylvia Plath had my kitchen space, she would have lived a much longer life.
My eye was fixed on the rapidly ticking clock. Benjamin and our friend Trevor was loading up the U-Haul, while I cleaned and listened to the radio, where “Thriller”, “Monster Mash”, the “Ghostbusters” theme song and for whatever reason, Warren Zevon‘s “Werewolves of London“. Like every hour on the hour, and then intermingled with Katy Perry and Ke$ha. Normally I would have been listening to the CBC2, but Halloween themed classic music is not really a ‘roll up the sleeves, pump up the jam’ kind of genre. Maybe at Edgar Alan Poe‘s house would Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” be on the cleaning playlist, but not for me. Not then at least. I had enough weighing on me as it already was.
Our friend Sheanna came by and offered her help, which was an enormous relief. I felt that pinching nausea of stress, that force of tears behind my eyes, as I tried to wedge myself into the oven to give it a proper clean. But sure enough, the house was nearly emptied, and each room was cleaned. The guys left with the U-Haul, Sheanna wished me luck, and I dashed to the washroom, and changed with the same urgency that spins Clark Kent into Superman.
The event was in good standing when I slipped out to run a few errands, and do my after school pick ups. My thoughts were swirling with this never ending checklist. I wish I could split in two and be both Clark Kent and Superman, achieve all goals without causing insult or injury to anyone. Just then, the “Ghostbusters” theme song starts up all over again. Fuck that noise. I steer the radio frequency over to the CBC2 and alas, they are playing “Time Warp” from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Not familiar with the dance craze? Why darling, it’s just a jump to the left and then a step to the right…
The older I get, the more disturbing I find this picture. I’ve been watching it since high school and have traumatized a number of people with this perverted horror/Sci-Fi musical mash up. Despite my discomfort, it’s still essential Halloween viewing. Of course, catching ‘RHPS’ is the last thing on the agenda, and so I thank the radio gods for the offering by cranking up the volume and singing my heart out in between the crush of traffic and a string of red lights.
The day was a blur that occasionally bordered on disastrous. My original promise to our landlord: that we would be out by three in the afternoon, was also shot right to hell. It was well past five, and I am vacuuming rather desperately in my day-of-the-dead dress, purple feathers all a muck. I had slipped off my heeled boots, and was in my eight dollar fake uggs…my “fuggs”, and was mincing around in the kitchen and living room, collecting the remaining remnants of our life there. The landlord stopped by, waiting for the new tenants to come by to pick up the key. I finished the inside tasks, while Ben swept the fireplace and fallen leaves outside, in the presence of the landlord’s young son, who was dressed as a bright yellow M&M.
The new tenants came round as we were removing the last miscellaneous pieces from the townhouse. Which was nice, as we’ve since had to go there twice, once to pick up all the kitchen utensils that were left behind in a drawer, and to pick up paperwork from immigration. (Because when you wait eleven months for something in the mail, why wouldn’t it show up the day after you move?) Of course, this move coincided with a theatre festival, and those first few nights were spent unpacking until two in the morning. We had a small party on closing night, and then come Sunday, we collapsed in exhaustion. We also wandered around the strange house looking sort-of stupefied. I was wishing for another time warp…where we could pause the Sunday, and live out several more days of sleeping, settling and unpacking, and starting a new chapter in our brand new home.