Tomorrow I’m selling off all my remaining things in a moving sale. If you’re local to Everett, Washington, please feel free to come by between noon and 3pm to have a look!
I’ve spent the last week hauling my things out to the garage, and the last two days sorting and pricing things; I’ve arranged for Northwest Center to come and pick up what they want of what’s left a few days later. Arrangements have been made for taking the last few boxes of my things to my storage unit in Seattle, my desktop computer will be shipped to my brother via priority mail, and I should be out of the condo by the morning of December 7th, latest.
There’s still a little left to do here as far as getting things out to the garage, but I’ve been saving the last few cooking things, flatware, and kitchen utensils until the morning, so that I can use them today and tomorrow morning. After it goes out to the garage, it’s restaurants for me until I leave. It isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s certainly the most practical, and there are a couple of restaurants right next door. I suspect I will be living on teriyaki and sushi rolls for a few days until this is over, as it’s inexpensive and filling. I’m giving the rest of the food I would have to cook to one of my neighbors, and tomorrow evening it’ll be time to clean out the fridge. I’ve already given things to my girlfriend that she can eat, but there’s a lot left that she couldn’t take from me, so it goes to the next person on the list.
Yesterday, I hadn’t planned on participating in any turkey day festivities. I didn’t have the time or the energy to deal with it, but seven of my friends brought the holiday to me, with folding tables and chairs, food, a log for the fire, and their good company. Despite having a migraine, I had a really lovely time with them. One is a couple of weeks out from his annual winter in Mexico. Another stopped in with his partner on the way home to Bellingham from their own festivities in Seattle.
My neighbors have been talking with me out in the parking lot when I take the dog for a walk or get my mail or haul things up to the garage for the sale. They have all said they’ll miss me and are very sad to see me go. It’s nice to know my presence has been appreciated despite my unusual hours. One neighbor dropped by while I was sticking price tags on things and bought a few things from me already, so that’s a couple fewer items to worry about! I’ve been overwhelmed by the sea of my possessions and am glad to be getting rid of everything that’s left.
I am at the point in this process where I just want to be done. I want to be on the plane and not have to deal with the intervening 11 days. Beam me up, Scotty! I’m feeling restless and at loose ends in this empty space. I’ve got accounts to close, addresses to change, and last minute details to attend. I’ve got myself a Skype US phone/text number so my family and friends here can stay in touch with me and not have to make international calls, but it’ll be strange not to have the same number I’ve been using for about 15 years now. I couldn’t get a Skype number with a 206 area code, like the one I’ve had for so long. Even my displacement is displaced.
Earlier this week, I went with one of my friends down to Seattle to walk around Green Lake for the last time. The weather has been clear, if cold, and I’ve had some lovely views of Tahoma to file away in my memory. The rosy orange glow of sunset on its snowy peak from the south entrance of the Veterans Hospital was particularly beautiful last week, with that slight touch of unreality that follows when things are in flux. The mountain seized me emotionally when I first got to Seattle many years ago, and it is hard to imagine not seeing it regularly. I have been looking at things with the eyes of one who will not see them again for a very long time and it steeps sadness into me even as I am letting go and looking forward to my trip with excitement. Every time I am down in Seattle, I realize how much I will miss the place, and how much of a home it has been to me for most of my life. Seattle’s mountains and water, and its green spaces have become a part of my soul. I hope that I can find that same sense of connection in Italy.
My brother’s last day with the Air Force was this week. This means that we won’t have to worry about him leaving me alone at his place out in the countryside with no way to get around while he’s at work. He’s driving down to Venice to pick me up, rather than taking the train; it’ll be easier on both of us when I first arrive, as I’m going to be exhausted. I’ll have been in transit for about 18 hours, not including the time it takes for me to get to Seatac and get through security, then wait for the plane. I’m guessing closer to 24 hours will be my total transit door to door. I will be fried when I arrive that morning; there will be lunch and then sleep. The next day, we’ll arrange for me to go to the Questura to apply for my Permesso di Soggiorno before my eight days are up. He says that the office in Pordenone has become much more efficient in recent years, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble. Then again, I have no idea what to measure that against. It could be downright Dantean, even by Veterans Administration standards.
I’ll be sure to bring a book. And a sense of humor.