Monday, May 21, 2012

A half-hearted post about moving

Here I am, sitting in the middle of a living room full of packed boxes and deconstructed IKEA furniture, sipping Starbucks instant coffee out of an emergency-morning-coffee mug we bought at Target yesterday for $1.99 because all the dishes are packed already. Listening to Elliott Smith, whining because I am hungry and there's no food in the house, and feeling inarticulate...

...really inarticulate. As my mom can attest, my attention span and my ability to form intelligent thoughts or finish sentences have decreased monotonically with the approach of D-Day. Such sentiments as could be expressed by a sentence like, "That was a nice break. Now I need some more energy and motivation to clean the rest of my room!" instead come out as fragmented Mario references accompanied by fist-pumping gestures: "Mushroom power up!" My brain may be taking a rest, but my senses seem to be heightened, as if to compensate. The bay glittering in the sunlight, the smell of eucalyptus, the sounds of the birds in the morning. Glittery-er, eucalyptusy-er, and chirpy-er. And all that nonsense.

I guess I expected moving out of Berkeley to be an emotional process, and it really hasn't been. I've been able to take the pictures off my walls, empty my closets, pack up all the belongings I accumulated during grad school without batting an eye. (Okay, let's be honest. Taking the glow-in-the-dark stars off my ceiling, one tiny star at a time, was a little rough. Yep, I wish I were kidding.) Maybe I'm jinxing myself by wondering why this has been so easy. It's only been six weeks since I decided for sure that I was going to move, and only single-digit days since the details were finalized, so maybe it hasn't sunk in yet? Or maybe the sinking has been so gradual that it's sunk and I didn't even know it.

I feel like the sensible thing to do is to write about all the memories made here over the past three years, and the monumental changes in my life over the past number of months. Philosophizing on the stuff you're "supposed" to do in your mid-20's, whatever that even means. Maybe I'm a little sick of analyzing all these major decisions I've made, or maybe I'm just not very sensible. Part of it is that I don't understand the point of getting stuck in self pity, dreading the goodbyes, thinking about all the "lasts" - last trip to Tilden Park, last Cheeseboard pizza, last Giants' game on KNBR - when I could be focusing on what's right in front of me, especially since what's in front of me is packing tape and suitcases an epic two week solo road trip across the country! For some reason Google Maps isn't playing well with others and doesn't want to connect the dots here, but here's the main idea:

My itinerary, at least for the first half of my trip, tracks eerily well with the visibility band for last night's annular eclipse. San Francisco is just south enough that we couldn't see the eclipse here, but I did get the satisfaction of watching my mother fold a piece of packing paper (Peter Piper picked a pepper?) and contort it into a makeshift light-box-eclipse-viewer-thingy. The accompanying train of thought-out-loud: "Remember Dolores Claiborne? Then there was Kathy Bates in a hot tub with Jack Nicholson. She was fat and had no inhibitions." I still think the half-moon shapes she (my mom, not Kathy Bates) saw on the paper were reflections of smudges on the window, but I let her have her fun. In her defense, though, since she reads this: the sun as it set was, for lack of a better word, "weird". Like really fat people, or really tall people, you know you shouldn't stare, but you just can't look away. (But you're allowed to stare at blind people, right?)  

Anyway, that exhausts my attention span. One "last" ocean picture, for a while at least. Just for good measure.

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