Thursday, November 27, 2008

The final countdown

What is 4 x 24? Fewer hours than I have to purge two years of living from my apartment, that's what.

In four days, a French PhD student will be sleeping in my bedroom. Actually, she'll be doing whatever she wants in there, and I suppose she'll do it anywhere she wants, just like I did. She might even do it on my sofa. I won't be here to stop her. No matter what she does, I'm sure I did it better.

Ninety-six hours to transience and my house is still full of furniture, art, cookware and crap. You'd think losing all your belongings and mooching off friends would be easier. Don't people do it all the time?

Yesterday morning, I signed a contract with movers who've agreed to transport my antiques and irreplaceables back to Nova Scotia where my parents will reluctantly, but thankfully store them. Then, the new tenant arrived to see what of my furniture she'd buy, and last night I hosted a giveaway/livingroom sale I called, 'Dinner and Dibs'.

Basically, I sorted through all my things, lured some close girlfriends to my house with the promise of a home-cooked dinner and gave them first pick of everything I'd rather not pay to store or transport to England. Whatever they didn't want, I forced on them, like an annoying salesgirl working on commission. "Oh, Pyrex cookware is timeless, and would go so well with this sailor's cap!"

I'm stuck with a few dining room chairs, which I rescued (read: pilfered) from the basement of this building. At the time, I wondered why anyone would abandon something so nice, but now I see that furniture fate is inescapable and, chair by chair, they're going right back to where I found them so someone else can wonder the same. There are also some leftover books, deceivingly titled and disappointingly academic, from my university years: Pornocopia and Public Sex (among the less scandalous untouchables, Anthropological Theory and The Mass Media in Canada). Most everything else is claimed and awaiting pick-up.

Perhaps the greatest marker of the evening's success is having finally uncovered my house keys – one of life's little conveniences – which have been missing beneath the chaos for nearly a week.

The crumbs I'll be donating to the local mission today, and by Sunday, all evidence of my life here and my ongoing battle with mice and my creepy neighbour will be completely gone, save for bits of furniture the new tenant bought, that red paint I spilled in the sink, and the stack of papers that fell behind the fridge. These little accents will add to those left by the previous tenants: the good luck charm bolted into the oak frame of the doorway, unidentifiable trinkets lodged in the radiator, and little poops left by midnight visitors – the furry rodent kind, not the freaky weirdo sort.

Ninety-five hours to go...

11 comments:

Fuzzy said...

How exciting! I'm extremely envious of a move to the UK. We will definitely have to visit each other now that you'll be much closer.

Kate Savage said...

Yes! I'm sure it'll be a little while before I can afford to travel. My Canuck bucks are going to seem a little weak, but once the quid start, uh, quidding, then I'll be travelling as much as I can manage!

wyliekat said...

I think there must be something ridiculously freeing about going somewhere almost completely unencumbered by "stuff". I like purging as I move, but I've never been completely able to just leave everything behind and start fresh.

I imagine we won't hear from you again until you're on the other side.

Take one of those deep, freeing breaths of unencumbrance for me, will ya?

Kate Savage said...

Hey thanks!

I am saving some things. More than I probably need to, I'll admit.

That said, I'm not leaving for England until the end of January, so I'll still be around.

pistols at dawn said...

I think you may have just made me nostalgic for a place I've never been, so well done.

Nostalgia's like unrefrigerated meat: it doesn't keep well. Too much new comes in to keep hold of the old. Congrats on having a more exciting new than most.

Kate Savage said...

Pistols - Is this place you speak of my sofa, by any chance?

pistols at dawn said...

I do oft get nostalgic about sitting. "Man, remember like eight seconds ago, when I was sitting for four hours before I finally got up to get some chips? What a time that was. For me, and for America."

i am playing outside said...

I also know the joys of returning furniture to where I borrowed it from. Actually, my case is also a chair from a basement. Awesome! We're like twins now!

Kate Savage said...

Pistols - After all that moving, I think there's no activity with greater allure than sitting for me right now. Wanna, you know, sit down with me?

I am playing outside now - You mean you have girl parts, too?

pistols at dawn said...

Kate, given the effort I put into most activities, I might be wisest to take up offers of sitting and hold things there - focusing on what I excel at.

Anonymous said...

For the record sailor caps tend to get tons of use...especially while in Cuba. Pyrex butter dishes, on the other hand, might just end up at the back of the kitchen copboard.