Since I had no real other plans, I ended up helping a friend move. He had finally closed on his new townhome and was moving for the first time in his life (he still lived with his parents and had managed to save up enough to buy a house). He said I could write about this, but requested anonymity for reasons that will become apparent.
When I arrived with G and K to F's new house, we killed a few minutes walking through the neighborhood (most of which is still under construction). Like most modern developments here in Lower Sheol, the sameness is numbing and scary at the same time; looking down the street you see identical units, with identical plantings and (soon) identical cars and people. Being townhomes, there is nearly no yard to speak of, and it is not pedestrian friendly (very limited sidewalks).
He his Dad and another friend, S, arrived shortly with the U-Haul truck they rented for the move.
I should note that it was now 8:00 pm and this was their first moving trip of the day.
Granted, F (the one moving) only had his room to move but it was still a rather late start.
The truck was unloaded into the garage in about ten minutes, and his Dad drove the truck back to his house for the next load. We spent the next half hour recovering from the taxing exertions before heading back to F's parents' house for the next load.
F had put a down payment on the townhome over a year ago and only in the past week or so has the construction on it finished (and there are still a few details to work out). In the past month it became clear that he would be moving in a few weeks. He knew for the past week he would be closing on the house. Did he pack anything?
Nothing was ready to go.
I can understand if he had less than a week's notice of moving an entire house but no. It's just one room.
And while I may be a pack rat, F has managed to pack an amazing amount of stuff into one room. So much stuff that no one really knew what color carpeting was in his room until we got there and the space formerly taken up by the waterbed was now free. I thought the carpet was blue, G thought it was green; the actual color was gray (the color differences was due to poor lighting and the clutter on the floor). There were still about four or five major pieces of furniture that needed cleaning off, dusted off (it's been years since the room had been properly dusted) and loaded.
And by cleaning off, I mean the removal of stuff. So F spent the time moving stuff off the furniture, and the rest of us carrying it out to be cleaned. F's Dad set up an air compressor and hose to blast the furniture with air to get most of the dust off, then a towel and lots of Pledge to finish the job. To say the furniture was a bit dusty is to say that Saudia Arabia is a bit sandy.
Clouds of dust permeated the air; dust bunnies were scurrying away into the darkness. Masks were handed out to prevent black lung. It was quite bad.
We had arrived at the parents' house around 9:00 pm.
We finally got the furniture (and only the furniture—F still has to pack the stuff up but that can be taken by car) onto the truck by 11:52 pm (and we know that because F was beeped by his work computer saying it had finished generating an important report at that time).
Back to F's new townhome and again, ten minutes to unload the truck.