Moving out of a rental property is like transversing multiple layers of hell, each one worst than the last. First, there’s finding a new place to live. Some people find this their least favorite. Not me, in fact, I enjoy this stage of moving so much so, that in my excitement I virtually overlook every possible flaw in every possible place I look, to then eventually settle on one that lacks everything I swore I wouldn’t do without this time around. Storage space for cookware? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Storage space for food? I don’t have anything to cook food with, so why bother?! Toilet paper? I definitely need that, but since I don’t have storage space I’ll just have to go from roll to roll, and hope that scooting naked between the bathroom and my only under-the-kitchen-sink storage spot won’t compromise my dignity from the neighbors’ perspective, what with them inevitably being perched on their porch every time I happen to be shitting.
Then, there’s the moving part. Going into this, I pretend I don’t hate it as much as I invariably do three days later when I’ve hauled every useless piece of shit I own up the six flights of stairs leading to this new home I’ve selected. Alone–because I certainly don’t own enough to justify having people help me. Idiot. I guess I didn’t notice that the complex lacked an elevator, but, then again, if it had one I would probably be inclined to store food in it, so better this way. Once everything is physically in the new home, the next layer of hell involves trying to uncover exactly what you were stupid enough to pack in the first place and undoubtedly being unable to locate what you really need, before you actually need it. Surely, at the time, the closest-available-box box seemed a legitimate place to store a shower curtain and the keys to your car, but 12 hours later when you can’t find them, a coathanger and nothing are going to have to suffice; not respectively.
Finally, not too long after all your gaping move-related wounds have been sealed with Super Glue, you find yourself on the floor surrounded by individual packages of food that have now made your living room theirs, still without a shower curtain, and it’s time to get off your ass and scrub your way into the final pit of hell, which is cleaning out the place you no longer call home, but yet is still covered in the filth that was your home for two years. I don’t know about you but I’m a filthy creature, and I only realize this for a week or two after having to clean out a former rental property. What I’m saying is that if you accuse me of being dirty in a week, I’ll punch you in the throat and spit on your boob. But yesterday–and yes, still today–I would have screen printed a t-shirt alerting the world to how disgusting I am; and if someone beat me to it, I would buy one, and wear it around town with accepting shame.
It took me five hours to clean out a one-barely-bedroom apartment. Here’s how the day played out:
12:03 p.m.: [Enters apartment] Game on bitches, let’s start with … Jesus Christ, did I really leave all this shit here?! If I have to pick up and carry another box I’m going to punch a dog, and probably one that lives in this complex.
12:15 p.m.: [In the bedroom] How do blinds get so dirty, and, really, how are people expected to clean them? The time it takes to dust and wipe down each one probably necessitates a trip to Ikea to just replace the damn things. Which is exactly what I should have done … Alright, I’m over this shit, blinds are done, up, let the sun shi … oh fuck, are all those stains on the carpet cat puke? Mother fucker … maybe I can clean those out …
12: 37 p.m.: [Moves to bathroom] That shit on the bathtub came from my feet? My body? Should I prioritize giving myself a good scrub first, for fucks sake?! Shit is gross … Too bad I don’t have a shower curtain on this thing, I’m going to flood the neighbor below me, easy, which would actually be a plus, let’s do it. But where the fuck is my shower curtain … OK, I’m over the scrubbing, let’s try the bath tile cleaner. Where did I put that? Why is it on the bedroom floor …? Wait, no, serious, did I really just douse my bedroom carpet stains with the tile cleaner?! Holy shit, I did, and, holy shit, that really worked well! Watch out Sally Stay at Home Mom, a genesis homemaker has been born.
12:45 p.m.: [Enters kitchen] Damn, I should have started the oven self-clean as soon as I got here! Fuck, doesn’t this thing take forever … hmm … 4 hours and 20 minutes. Naturally. Lame.
12:48 p.m.: [In the bathroom] At what point in the last two years did my toilet get so absolutely destroyed by my stomach? If this is what eating leads to, I’d just rather not, I definitely don’t want to have to do this again. Maybe if I don’t put toilet paper in my new bathrooms people won’t use them. OK, that is definitely a possibility, seeing as how I don’t have any room to store toilet paper. Yeah, fuck this, never again. Never. Again. I’m going to write that in my journal so I remember it.
1:25 p.m.: [Walks into the living room] Oh my God, the smell! Is that the oven?! That’s fucking horrible, is that safe for humans? For wood and granite countertops? Maybe it will melt the dirt and dried food off the adjoining counter-space … Ugh, that is horrible, I feel like my skin is crawling off my body and slinking towards the oven.
1:49 p.m.: Maybe wrapping this scarf around my face will make this bearable–are the windows even open?!
2:17 p.m.: [Wandering room to room] FUCK, what is in that oven cleaning system that is making it smell like Walter White is cooking in my apartment? At least if he were here I’d be banging heaters and counting bugs on the wall, which sounds like a better time than feeling my skin slide off. I feel like I’m in the fallout of nuclear winter: I can’t breathe in my shelter but I also can’t leave it because it might explode. Wait, if it’s going to explode, I don’t want to be in it, right? But if I’m not in it, I’ll never know if it goes up. This can’t be good for me … Is my dog here too?
3:18 p.m.: [Sitting on the couch I forgot to move] Do I look crazy walking to and from the dumpster with this scarf over my face …? Is this the dumpster …? I’m not feeling that great. Oh wait, is this beer I left in my fridge?! And they say I don’t think ahead. Actually, no one says that. I don’t even say that. I always think ahead … Where am I supposed to be next …?
3:31 p.m.: [Laying on the other couch I forgot to move] There should definitely be a warning on this oven, to the effect of: shit will make you high. Seriously, though, what is that smell? Is it just heat or the shit burning off in the oven? Actually, in order for there to be stuff burning off in there, I probably would have had to put something in there, and that sure as shit hasn’t happened in the last few years. It must be the heat … I wonder if space smells like this, it’s supposed to be pretty hot up there, right? I mean, not in the recesses of space, because that shit is chilly, I think, but maybe close to the Sun? Or close to that one planet where the atmosphere is what Earth’s will be like once the Republicans win the presidency in 2016? I bet that shit smells weird …
3:37 p.m.: [Cleaning the kitchen] Why didn’t I start with the kitchen?! I shouldn’t be cleaning this section of the house when the oven is going off the chain … Is that a unicorn …? Maybe he can help me reach the top shelf to dust.
5:18 p.m.: … … … Why am I on the floor? Why is this scarf tied around my eyes? Did I just drink that full six pack?! Wait, is the oven done? Sweet Jesus … is that my shower curtain under the couch?