This trip is hard work and we haven’t left yet. The last time we shut down for a year we actually moved out of our apartment several days before we left, living in a squat in Williamsburg. We only did this to get some street cred and to get used to sleeping on the floor. I think we haven’t slept in the last few months much. Two days ago I realized the only liquids I’d taken in for several days were coffee and beer. Sometimes there was milk in the coffee. There may also have been whiskey. This and very little sleep is a recipe for disaster and sure enough I woke up Friday morning with a wicked case of conjunctivitis. Also known as pink-eye. It’s a well known fact that if you cry and your tears fall directly into your coworker’s eyes, pink-eye is very contagious. Or, if you work at a kindergarten where children are constantly poking each other in the eyeballs. Or if your coworkers are kindergarteners. Instead of being welcomed with tearful hugs on my last day, they stuck me behind a desk by the front entrance. Curious onlookers peered around the corner, snapping pictures of my seeping red eye.
And then this morning I woke up with a cold. Related? perhaps. Who cares. I’m feeling a bit surly. Magda is too, and we’ve been griping at each other all day as we pack clothes, tape boxes shut and make the schlep down to the basement again and again. I think the neighbors think one or both of us is actually moving into the basement.
On top of all of this, I dismantled the Christmas tree. A fine specimen who’s young life was literally cut short by a woodsman’s blade, trucked to Brooklyn, and sold to us. We then festooned it with baubles and neglected to water it. A small part of me died when I turned the lights off for the final time and laid the poor thing down into a tarp. Even the tarp prevented it from exacting revenge and shedding painful needles all over the building. Now it waits forlorn by the curb, like a visitor from out of town who doesn’t know the best places to hail a cab.
We leave tomorrow, on Sunday at 5:45pm, at which point you will begin to hear tales of adventure rather than tales of oozing diseases and mutilate trees.