Sunday, Liz and I made the big move to Harlem. As expected (and despite the assurances of our super) the elevator in our new building was out, rendering our new apartment a sixth-floor walkup. We did hire movers, but in the interest of saving money, Liz and I helped carry stuff up the stairs–as did my Dad, who was a very good sport about helping carry boxes and furniture two months after his 60th birthday.
Incidentally, I’d highly recommend Mambo Movers, especially considering their unfaltering cheer in the face of a twelve-hour move totalling ten flights of stairs. Do note they are based in Philly.
We got the last few items into the new apartment, paid the movers, and decided to go for a celebratory dinner. That’s when things took a turn. Initially I believed I was having a panic attack–brought on by the head cold I’d been suffering, the hours of manual labor, and the enormous changes that were suddenly becoming a reality. Liz and my parents were very supportive as I had my freakout–it wasn’t until I tried to head to bed that I realized it wasn’t just a panic attack, it was a norovirus attack.
Liz and I spent the night on a mattress on the floor, an island in an ocean of boxes and furniture. Once an hour or so I’d get up so my body could purge itself of fluid from every available exit. Around 6:30 AM, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to report on my first day of work.
Calling out sick on your first day is hardly the right way to start a new job, but some things are unavoidable. It turned out not to be so bad. HR just pushed my start date back a few days, and everyone appreciated that I didn’t force myself to report and bring in something contagious. Instead of Monday, I started on Thursday. So far the job has gone well, though I haven’t done much yet–just met my coworkers and learned the setting. Next week I expect to really sink my teeth in.
The silver lining is that three extra days at home allowed me to pitch in some on the unpacking, so our new home is looking somewhat livable. We picked Harlem because we could get a lot of space, so Liz and I have a good bit of living space for ourselves as well as a guest room and an office area. We also had the chance to introduce her cat to my two. We were concerned that it might take weeks for the cats to adjust to one another–instead, after only three days, they were doing fine. That’s pretty impressive.
I haven’t done any writing, obviously. All the change is not conducive to mental focus. Hopefully in the next week or two I can take some time to get some work done. There’s a new short story that I’m polishing up to start shopping around, and I’m considering a rewrite to the first few chapters of the most recent novel, which isn’t selling in its current form.