Good luck moving up ‘cuz I’m moving out

August 31, 2013


I don’t exactly remember the day I moved out. By that I mean it was either when I moved into the boarding house or into the college dorm. I have a document at home (I’m writing from elsewhere) that I believe will shed light on the matter. I haven’t updated it for many years because I’ve lived at my last two addresses for eleven and eight years respectively, and I’ve had my job for over eighteen.

I’m inclined to think that it was the boarding house to which I moved when I first left the nest. When I get home and can refer to my sheet we may find that it was the dorm, but the boarding house is where I’ll start. The only thing I can say that I remember for sure without consulting the reference material is that I was at university for only two and a half weeks my first go-round. (Also, geez, life-changing high school occurrence and first moving out, I’m going to have a nervous breakdown remembering these things from my youth!)

I tried college for a couple of weeks. It didn’t work out. The following semester I tried again. I lasted a little longer but still nowhere near a full term. I think it was about then that I made my move.

It was my first experience, so I knew nothing about anything, not what “a room” meant, or “shared,” or “boarding,” or any of it. I just knew it was what seemed like an inexpensive price that meant I wouldn’t be living with my parents anymore. As a post-high school teenager, not living with your parents can seem like the most important thing.

I wasn’t savvy enough to have gone over and looked the place in advance. I only reacted to the “facts” in the newspaper ad. If I had been, I wouldn’t have been surprised when my part of the arrangement turned out to be as the (bed)roommate of another young lady. The “private” room was merely the semi-divided off area in between the stairs to upstairs and the other divided-off area beyond which my comrade and I slept. She and I had to go through “private” room to go back downstairs to the bathroom. There were not, as I recall, any doors in our upstairs area, just half-walls.

Here is where you will either roll your eyes or think, huh? One of my favorite memories of the place involves the house TV downstairs. By which I mean the television that we young squirts could watch after our older landlord-couple retired for the evening. When you’re eighteen or nineteen, the age I am now (fifty) seems like the end of the world. They were probably about that age then.

I remember coming home after work one night (again, I’d have to consult the document in order to say exactly where that was). It seemed that the old people had gone to bed so, it being the age when MTV actually played music videos (first half of the ’80s), I took advantage and turned the TV on real low to MTV. It was about two-thirds through Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” video when the old man came in and said the equivalent of “turn that long-haired hippy-freak music down you damned kids!”

That was the last time that I dared to turn the television on in that house.

It wasn’t long after that that my coccaine-snorting though good-looking acquaintance Jon sent some flowers to the house. Everybody got very excited and thought a proposal as imminent. I did not, but they were all a little sheltered.

It was a month-to-month arrangement, I stayed there only a few months. I think I also remember that I had bought some pans to use in the house kitchen, because we had to supply our own supplies. I think my two porcelain pots are those original equipment.

When I attempted to resume university the next time (after a year at a technical college where I learned some computer programming on punch cards), I decided it would be a good idea to move into a dorm. I didn’t go away but I still wanted to get away.

I had an adjustment or two of roommates, but it wasn’t awful by any stretch of the imagination. There are some boy things I could go into (like a crush starting a rumor about himself just to see how gossipy we all really were, and we were) but my fondest memory was about Def Leppard.

The album “Pyromania” had just come out. Pauline, who lived across the hall, and I both possessed it. For a few weeks we loved nothing more than to fire up our record players and play dealing turntables with Pyromania. I think we had fun just coordinating the synchronization, but I enjoyed also the imprecise phasing in and out of how the 33-1/3 revolutions per minute happened (you know, 33rpm) and how that sort of simulated cross-hall stereophonics. You know, hi-fi.

The other main memory about moving out over the years is that the first time (or two or three), everything I took with me fit in the back of my 1973 periwinkle AMC Gremlin—with the back seat folded down. Eight years ago for my last move (some twenty-five years later), I rented the largest U-Haul truck and filled it to capacity. Next time, I’ll probably have to hire an actual moving service.

I often have nightmares about having to move back in with my parents. Shiver me timbers. That would never work. That’s why it’s a nightmare!

– – – – – – – – –

me in the dorm

Now that I’ve been able to consult my sheet, I see that time has clouded my memories. I lived in that boarding house for only one month, it looks like, and I had two other addresses besides my parents’ house before I moved into the dorm two and a half years later.

I was going to give you the Street View shot of the boarding house, but the town doesn’t rate full coverage so there’s only a low resolution satellite view. Then I thought I’d show you the dorm, but Street View only goes on the parallel street a block away. So I guess you’ll have to make do with this photo of me in the dorm. One of my finer moments, for sure!

One Response to “Good luck moving up ‘cuz I’m moving out”

  1. Tori Says:

    Love that picture. 🙂

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