On a Train to Somewhere (journal entry, part i)

March 26, 2009

Hi, people.

Not having coordinated computers and photo programs et cetera just yet, I’m breaking my preferred habit of supplying a few photos to break up a long blog post.

What follows is the the first part of a 1300-word bit of writing I did on the train in the early afternoon on March 19th. I’ve cleaned up, but not gussied up, the writing; gussying up would include, f’rinstance, the use of a few more verbs than “be”. Anyway, here goes…

March 19 2009

At 13 19 I awoke to the surprising, surprised words, “Oh, but you don’t live there anymore!” The voice was my own, unspoken, interrupting my somnolent thoughts. I was on the train.

Yesterday, the 18th, I was out front with Cai at 08 30 when I saw a moving van parked in front of our building. It wasn’t the company I was expecting. I asked anyway who the men were here for, and sure enough, they were here for our apartment. Just as well that I asked, because the building manager wouldn’t arrive for another half hour, and no one had thought to discuss buzzer codes.

The neighbour who was to watch the Cardis during the move had fallen sick, so out they went onto the balcony to enjoy the Spring air, bark at other dogs in the back field, and occasionally whine to come in.

As the driver and his two hired hands set to work, I wiped down the kitchen cupboards and swept away prehistoric dust bunnies. We discussed dogs — the driver has a husky and one of the other guys a Chow-Collie mix. I told him about Goodbear’s dog, but he isn’t online.

One of the movers praised my packing job. I didn’t mention that I’d been at it since September. On the other hand, the platform bed was now in five taped packages, several odd-shaped things had been taped together and nestled in a large, see-through plastic bag, the futon was already enclosed in a plastic mattress cover, and nearly everything else was in a covered container, so I guess it was all as prepared as it could be.

The movers took just under three hours to empty the apartment. Everything wooden, from the kitchen shelf to the old rocking chair to the packages of bed planks, was wrapped in blankets. I have high hopes for their safe journey to Saint John. I tipped the movers $30, suggesting they get themselves some lunch.

When Cai and Fergus finally came inside again, they were happy and excited, playing a riotous game of chase through the nearly empty apartment. They were relieved, I think , to no longer have boxes, bins, and barbecues within swinging distance of their wags.

Some of the furniture was left behind.  It had been bought by our neighbour Gwen, who was moving from her one-bedroom unit into our two-bedroom. I should mention at this point that we were leaving a housing co-op. We had gotten to know several of the pet-owning neighbours, among them Gwen. I was happy to give her a good deal on the furniture; she needed the stuff for her new, larger space, and I didn’t have to break my back or spend money to have the stuff removed.

About 16 30, Jane and Robert called, ready to drive the dog crates and my suitcase to the train station, to store them in the checkroom overnight. As soon as the big pieces were stowed, Robert suggested we go have supper at Fionn McCool’s. I wasn’t expecting this extra meal on my final evening; Jane and Robert had fed me several times since E.g. had left for Saint John in mid-February, the last time being just three days ago.

We didn’t have a lot to say during this meal, but it was a good quiet, a sense that we’d all managed to say all that needed saying. We sipped our beer and admired the pub’s decor and noticed all the young people enjoying their dinners before they headed out to the Britney Spears concert. Then my friends dropped me off home again, and we promised to keep in touch.