Thursday, August 12, 2010

In my mind, I'm already gone

I have enough stuff in storage now and enough items sold off or given away that my apartment no longer feels very home-like.  My dresser is history, so now all my folded clothes sit uncomfortably crammed into several suitcases, so I can rummage like some wild animal looking for picnic scraps when I drag my ass out of bed in the early morning and need to locate underwear, socks, etc.  It's painfully difficult to that when I have to shake off the urge to fall back asleep and coffee lies tantalizingly far downtown.  (Don't tell me to make coffee myself.  I do that as a rule, but this damn office job starts too early for me to pull that off.)

Because I'm stubborn, and because I have acquired a sense of principle in how I sell used items, I refuse to drop the prices I quoted on Craigslist just because some yahoo doesn't feel like paying the (very small! very reasonable!) sum I requested for an item.  I've absorbed the lesson that, whenever possible, one should never get into a transaction without being willing to walk away from a bad deal.  This means, of course, that I'm not successful yet at selling my used stuff on Craigslist, because the few people who contact me about the stuff are cheap assholes who think that saying they would buy an item for half the price I quoted is going to push negotiation forward.  I've decided that, if I can't unload the items via Craigslist, I'm just going to donate them to Goodwill or some such.  I don't mind giving things to an organization that will make good use of them.  Underselling to some cocky douchebag who doesn't understand how to bargain is what I mind.

Meanwhile, I'm tracking down all the bills and so forth that need changes of address, while glaring resentfully at the kitchen stuff that should either be packed up and stored or given away.  I have to admit that I have some dishes and cooking devices that I cannot recall ever using.  Probably not a smart idea to hang on to them any longer.

Moving is a big aggravation, but at least there's the partial consolation of a road trip from DOU-Town to Hometown.  I'm trying to focus on the bright side — the open road! beautiful vistas! little roadside diners and barbecue shacks! — rather than my constant companion, the down side — long hours sitting in the car, aching back at the end of each day, no one to keep me company.  Traveling solo has traditionally been a great pleasure for me, but I find that my tastes are changing, and I increasingly find solo travel a bit burdensome and lonely.  The greatest road trip of my life was when I moved from Hometown out to DOU-Town, and two close friends accompanied me.  It'll be a long time before anything comes close to that.

I'm trying to make the best of it, though, by scouting out cheap places to sleep and good-sounding places to eat.  I made the tactical decision on my more recent road trip from Hometown to DOU-Town to drive and drive and drive, and stop at a roadside motel only when I felt like I was going to run off the road.  (Not that smart, was I?  It wasn't cost-effective, either.)  This time, since I don't have to show up in time for classes, I can take it a little easier: I'm looking for good deals on places to spend the night so that I break up the trip into eight-hour or nine-hour legs.  I'd much rather stop driving in the early evening, enjoy a leisurely dinner and spend a few hours on the internet at a Starbucks or something so I can get up well-rested the next morning, as opposed to driving until I'm bleary-eyed and have to stop at a scuzzy motel out of a B movie so I can pay $50 to avoid becoming an auto insurance statistic.  This also gives me the chance to explore a little bit around each stopover point, so I can go to the great BBQ joint or roadside cafe that other road warriors recommend, rather than the first IHOP that I see.

I'm trying very hard not to listen to the CDs I've loaded in my car stereo.  They're my (nearly) full suite of traveling music, carefully arranged for jarring segues that keep me from being lulled out of concentration on the road, and full of catchy hooks and lyrics that I can't help but sing along to.  Plus, the total length of time to listen to all of them in succession is approximately eight hours, so I have a yardstick of how long I've been on the road without having to consult a clock or the odometer.  I feel like listening to that stuff when I'm just tooling around town is not only going to make me yearn even more to be out of here, but it will take some of the power out of the CDs; after all, their purpose is to keep me full of energy and focus to drive long distances.  I feel that one shouldn't pull out the heavy weaponry until one is ready to use it.

*Daydreams about road food*

1 comment:

  1. Barbecue! Fried things! Beeeeeer.

    You don't have cats coming along with you, right? Well then you should totally make a fun road trip out of it --- pull off the road and take pictures and go see the cool/trashy/kitschy stuff by the side of the road. It's way more fun (and better memory-making) if you take the time to look around and enjoy it.

    (And the moving/packing/cleaning/loading and unloading process is just going to be hell. There must be a law or something. Sorry.)