You burn your arm on the oven when you’re taking out the pizza. The burn turns into a weird blister. You put a band-aid on it and don’t look at it again because you don’t have time to have a burn on your arm right now.
You also have a mysterious bruise on your shoulder, sore arms, a sore neck, a sore back, sore legs, and you’re wearing your ankle brace all the time again because you don’t trust yourself to walk properly and not hurt yourself.
You have driven past your street or driveway by accident at least four times in the past week. Maybe more.
You struggle not to lose your patience with customer service representatives who take a ridiculous amount of time to do something that should take two minutes. You throw things away you never would have considered throwing away even a few months ago. You try to convince people to take random stuff because you know that otherwise it will go into the landfill, and it all feels like a huge waste.
You play and play and play your piano. And then you can’t bring yourself to play even though this is your last chance because it’s just too fraught.
You cry when you think about selling your piano. You cry when you get a voicemail from your friend saying he thought maybe you could use hearing a friendly voice, because you could use it and then some. You don’t cry when they carry your beautiful table away because by this point you are somewhat numb.
You do cry after you get off the phone with the emergency vet tech, who tells you, yes, you need to bring your little dog in right away because the crack in her fang could be serious and there are no appointments available on the weekend so Friday night it is. If there is anything that can break you, it is your little dog’s health. You stand there and cry for five minutes, and you wish you had housemates or a boyfriend or family nearby, and then you coax the dog into the car and do what needs to be done, and now there are antibiotics twice every day, which isn’t so bad but is one more thing to remember.
Speaking of dogs, your dog is unhappy. She barks at the ceiling fan. She barks at the people who come over to get stuff. She barks more frantically than usual when she realizes you’re leaving. You tell her every day she’s coming with you, but she doesn’t speak English so communication is problematic.
Communication is difficult even when you speak the same language. You send endless messages to people. It’s all scheduling and logistics, and while you are okay, even good, at these things, you kind of hate them. You stare at your phone waiting for people to get back to you. They mostly get back to you after you’ve pretty much given up on it happening. It must be like water not boiling until you look away.
You spend one miserable night lying there unable to sleep, which means you have way too many hours to think about every detail of the move. Now you take melatonin every night before bed. It seems to help.
People have a lot of opinions, and you disappoint some of them, and you are too tired to care. The weather in Seattle is bad. The weather in Seattle isn’t so bad. What, you’ll move again if you don’t like it? What are you thinking? Why did you get an apartment in Bellevue? You should throw a goodbye party in your copious (read nonexistent) spare time. You should put your stuff up for sale on Craigslist. You say no a lot because there simply isn’t any wiggle room. You have the time you have, and it is extremely limited in quantity. At this point, if the other person in any given equation doesn’t make a lot of effort, it’s not going to happen, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
You receive your first few invitations for Seattle, and you think, hmm, I’m not going to know anybody there. And then you think, wait, this is going to be the next several months of my life. And you get ready to steel yourself. In the meantime, you get to see a few of your closest friends more often than usual, and it is lovely, and you almost wish you could always be on the cusp of moving so you could always spend this much time with them.
You drink sparkling cider and you eat cranberry sauce from the can. More and more of your stuff is in boxes. You can tell how much you care about an object by how much paper you use to pack it.