So Keaton’s getting out of the apartment that he hates over by Cal Tech and moving in almost next door. He was in a big 3 floor building with something like 80 units; this place is a lot smaller, with only 8 apartments. Joyce says where I’m living is called ‘garden apartments’ where she’s from. Out here, they usually call it a ‘duplex’…although it’s really got 4 apartments and there are two buildings, making a total of 8 units. So I reckon it’s an octoplex lol. The thing that’s kinda cool is that the two buildings, although they match, don’t face the same street, and there’s even a nice little garden between them. It’s even got a little fountain that Keaton’s already calling gayass lol.
Keaton’s going to be in one of the two upstairs apartments in the other building from me, where my place is on the ground floor. So, although we’re neighbors, we’re not right next door to each other, and you gotta get dressed, put on flip-flops and go outside to get from one apartment to the other. Keaton’s looking forward to living so close to me…but he also says he wants his privacy.
“Good fences still make good neighbors,” Meemaw told me, “even when he’s your best friend.”
The thing I’ll bet none of y’all expected was that Keaton didn’t just go get a U-Haul and hire some Mexican dudes from down at the truck rental place to move his stuff. I was convinced that was what he was gonna do…and that he’d say that hiring professional movers to do the packing and shit would be totally gay. But that’s what he did: he hired professional movers. I reckon he does have some nice stuff and he wanted people who’d take care of it.
Although I didn’t realize it at first, this is the first time Keaton’s moved a whole apartment of stuff to another place. He’s lived everywhere from Texas to Amsterdam to Montana to offshore Alaska to Fairbanks, but the only stuff he brought from Alaska to California is a totem pole some natives had carved for him and the beanbag chair I like to sit in when I’m over at his place. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would cost to move furniture from Fairbanks to Pasadena; it’d probably have to go on a plane…which is why probably why no one does it. So this is Keaton’s first real moving experience. No wonder he’s being careful. And stressed out.
I’ve never had a lot of shit to move before, and, when I have moved (to Hickory, back to Maryville, and then out here), I’ve done it by myself in a U-Haul. So I don’t know a lot about movers. I’ve heard lots of bad moving stories. The worst are from Joyce, who, 10 years after moving into her house, still talks about the 4 day nightmare she went through and how much it ended up costing. The movers Keaton got seemed ok enough. The dude in charge was Israeli, but the guys on the crew were all latino. Keaton’s Spanish always helps when dealing with latinos…and oh yeah the Spanish word for tip is propina lol.
But of course there had to be drama. Nobody hates drama more than Keaton, but Joyce predicted that something would go wrong, and she was right. The movers came to pack one day (the 6th) and move the next, which was Keaton’s planned date for moving in, the 7th. Then they got the weather report, and it was supposed to rain on the 7th. Only in Southern California can movers say they won’t work in the rain, and that’s what the dude in charge told Keaton. So the move got moved to the 8th. That would have been okay, except that the chick in the rental office in the building Keaton was leaving started to give him a real hard time about staying the extra day. Keaton’s fist almost went through the wall, but he managed to control himself.
Keaton told the chick in the rental office that it was the weather’s fault and the mover’s fault, not his, and she’d have to deal with it. She was all ready to charge him a shitload of money…but Keaton got his ‘fuck with me and you’ll regret it’ look on, and she backed down.
There was more trouble when, right before the truck was ready to leave on moving day, Keaton asked the movers for a partial total of what the move cost so far so he could go to the bank and get cash to pay them with. The number was waaaaaay more than Keaton anticipated. What other business is there where you don’t find out how much something cost until you’ve bought it? Keaton admittedly doesn’t know a lot about moving, but the price the mover wanted was totally fucked up. They had his shit on the truck, so there was nothing Keaton could do but somehow cough up the money…
…and then his fist did go through the wall. A little souvenir for the chick in the rental office lol. And an effective way of telling the mover not to fuck with him any more than he already had.
The mover gave Keaton a ‘not to exceed’ price on the rest of the move (i.e. the travel time and the unloading), but that didn’t change what it cost already. Still, after the drama, Keaton’s stuff made it to his new apartment…although there was a lot of bitching and moaning from the movers about carrying his furniture up a flight of stairs, although they bitched and moaned more in front of me than they did in front of Keaton. They were probably scared of him, which, as we know, was just fine with him. (That said, he handed out generous propinas. The guys had worked hard, and Keaton told me afterwards that he’d worked briefly as a mover in Fairbanks. So he had some sympathy for them; it was the head mover who was the problem.)
Of course the new apartment is currently a disaster area with boxes all over the place. I tried to help Keaton with some of the unpacking, but it’s tough to have someone help when you want to be the one putting your own shit away so you’ll know where the heck you put it. Keaton’s nowhere near done, so he tried to make the most of it by hanging some Christmas lights on the stacks of unpacked boxes. He’s got a tree too: he said he wasn’t going to let something like a lameass move and a bunch of uglyass cartons get in the way of Christmas.
So I got me a cool new neighbor. I’ve actually never lived this close to my best friend before, which makes me understand why Keaton said I should always call before coming over. Still, it’ll be awesome having him close by.
If only for this reason: now I don’t have to be limited to two beers when I’m over at Keaton’s. I’m not gonna have to worry about driving home…just maybe falling down the stairs lol.