Monday, October 14, 2013
Moving, Changing and Battling Your Nemesis: Hold Please
I don't know why this post took me so long to write. I feel like it's been years. You know in old movies when they wanted to show that a lot of time had passed and they cut to a close-up of a clock with the hands going around and around. And then they cut back to the main character who is sweaty and confused and exhausted? That's what it's been like over here.
I'm still on hold with AT&T, by the way.
Occasionally, while listening to the blurry sax I'll have an image of myself free-floating in space, in pitch black, tumbling, somersaulting, slowly and gracefully, just waiting for someone to come back and help me out. Moving is the third most difficult thing to go through besides death and divorce. Things come up. Old wounds get rubbed open. Every time I've ever moved, since I was a kid, it was either because a relationship had ended or there was some financial hardship. There was never any joy in it. Never the feeling that, like George Jefferson, I was moving on up. Somewhere in my head moving = pain, remorse, grief, anger, self-loathing, divorce, death. The end.
These are my thoughts while Kenny G is lulling me into a stupor. This is where my mind goes. And I'm doing a slow motion back flip into the pitch black.
It's not even me who's moving. It's one of my closest friends, who I also happen to work for. So I'm the one who sits on hold. I'm going through it bilaterally. I take it on like it's mine, and then it is mine. My first reaction is: No problem, we can do this. But then it's difficult and exhausting, and all I can see is everything he is doing wrong and how he's making a huge mistake, and I start to think: what a fucking idiot. In turn, he thinks the same about me. We answer the phone "What?" We don't look each other in the eye. For some reason, we have to hate each other right now.
Someone comes on the other line. She introduces herself. She tells me this call may be recorded. She says something, something and something that I've heard a million times without once ever listening. She sounds cheery in a slightly aggressive way that is both familiar and disorienting at the same time. I explain the situation to her wondering if she hears my voice as something, something something without really listening. Internet, bla, bla, bla, connection higgityhoo, order, account, address biggitaboogataboo.
Can't you just flick a switch and have everything work perfectly? I ask her, eventually.
Oh I wish, she says, and puts me on hold again.
Outside across the way, I hear the new neighbor, a 70 year old troll, yelling "Hey!" I look out the window and see that he is yelling in my direction,"Get out here!" he yells, "Get the fuck out here". He's got a long skinny grey pony tail, his face is contorted, he's got his hands on his hips. I go out with the phone still to my ear. He could care less. "I told you yesterday not to park your fucking car there!" He points to my car which is 10 inches over the red line. I point to my phone as if to say Please! I'm speaking with the President of the United States. I sort of want him to keep yelling so that maybe there will be a witness and he'll be forced to feel shame and embarrassment, but still I can't help feeling like he has sprayed vomit right into my face. Even though he's old and has a ponytail and lives in a hideous purple house, I am stunned. Finally the wife comes out. She's an 80 year old goat with bleached hair, fake boobs, and bubble lips: a California girl. She watches her husband and I think she is going to calm him down, I think she's going to pat him on the back, tell him to come inside and have some tea, but instead she yells at me too, What the fuck is wrong with you? Her face isn't even moving.
I move the car and go back into the house still with the phone to my ear. I want to cry but I can't. All I can think is: I wish I had a fire hose so I could spray them both like bugs off a concrete slab. What is wrong with those people? Why did I need to have that experience? Out in space I bonk into a floating rock and twist backwards in a slow spiral.
The AT&T lady comes back, Okay I think I figured it all out.
Well thank sweet Jesus Christ, I mutter under my breath.
What's the matter? she says.
Everything, I start to cry.
But you're moving! she says, It's time for a fresh start!
This makes me cry harder," I'm not though". I can't even breath and I think I might be having a heart attack, "And I just crossed paths with some crazy freaks".
Welcome to my world, she says.
How do you do it? I say.
I try not to take it personally.
You think I'm over-reacting?
Hold please, she says.
Why is it that when you're out floating in space it's always dark. I mean every astronaut, every space ship, in every space movie I've ever seen has always been in the dark. There's a glow around the edges, but it's basically pitch black. It's permanent night! How is that possible? Wouldn't it be brighter if you were closer to the sun? Wouldn't the brightness be almost blinding? I'm seriously asking these questions. I'm really wondering about this. I'm going to ask the AT&T lady when she comes back. If she comes back.