Monday, February 15, 2010

72 Boxes

When I woke up the next morning, the only thing I could think of was that I had 72 boxes coming to the house that morning. While extensions were still being filed I took off to Ohio for a couple of days to see the lovely Bonnet. During this fun and relaxing time a call was received that said basically the boxes had landed and wanted a home. At that point it was still up in the air if there would be an address to deliver the boxes too, so I put of the mover until Tuesday. On Wednesday the word came the house was going to be signed over so a call to the movers and a delivery scheduled for Friday morning.

My boxes had landed in the U.S. after about two months of travel. The house hand finally been turned over nearly two months after the bid was accepted. It was such an oddness, but in the end a workable one. So Friday morning I woke up, still snuffling faintly from paint fumes in the only room that had been cleaned out, looked at the sun and the time and realized the boxes were coming in half an hour. While I contemplated this the phone rang and a friendly Korean man confirmed my address.

Bed was hopped out of, then, and more cobweb knocking. This time the knocking was on the large front porch where I hoped to store most of the boxes so they would not be in the way while the painting happened. While cleaning the Boy noted the neighbor's car parked in front of the house. I went over and knocked on the neighbor's door unsuccessfully. We continued to clean and hope. Then the rumbling, and looking out the window to see that a large semi had arrived. A bunch of guys jumped out and the Korean man, Mr. Cho, who was our mover. I greeted him in Korean out of habit but he spoke perfect English.

“So, yeah, why here?” He asks almost immediately. “It’s like forty minutes from the city.”

“Yes, but it is very close to the lake.”

“Can I see it? Here is my card. Tell all your friends in Korea about me. I move furniture. How did you hear about me?”

I explained how I got the mover in Korea and tried to get a word in edgewise but he just kept talking.

“So, I also do real estate. Let me see the place. Okay, so where do you want the stuff? My guys there are Mongolian they came out because they heard you guys spoke languages, they wanted to meet you.” He just kept talking. In the meantime a neighbor had appeared to move the car. I explained that I needed to go talk to the neighbor and allowed the mover to babble on to the Boy.

“I look a wreck. Sorry for the hassle.”

“Naw, it’s all right. You’re moving in. Happy to help out. Knew the old lady who lived there, she was a sweetheart.”

“This is kind of a move from South Korea, it happened a lot faster than I expected.”

“South Korea. That’s nice. Let me get out of your way.”

She moved the car and waved goodbye. The movers parked the van in front of the house, and threw open there door. And there were the 72 boxes last seen in Korea. I realized I instantly hated all my stuff and never wanted to see it again.

The movers began to lower ramps and handed me a sheet to check off as they began to unpack. And so it began. Box after box. While they unpacked I counted and realized that out of the 72 boxes I had 50 were book or book-related items. Perhaps there is a bit of pack rattishness but it is all related to books. The rest was clothing or fabrics, with a few furniture items and a boat. The boat would be good for being near the lake, inflatable otherwise it would not have been much moveable. All together it took about an hour to get all the boxes out of the truck and into the house. Most of it fit on the porch where it would live for at least a day or so as I continued to paint rooms and generally try to get the house ready to hold all the stuff.

It was seeing the stuff in the space. Even in boxes, that sort of clinched the fact that this is a home for a long time to come. That I’ve moved the things out of Korea. That going back means having no possessions. There is a niceness in that, while also a strangeness. I leave for Korea on Tuesday and yet all my things are here. The world will definitely be stranger in the upcoming year, that is to be sure.

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