Stuck in Limbo

MONDAY — I'm in transition, moving from San Francisco to Berkeley. It's a two-step process, and step two will be the normal part, moving my stuff from San Francisco to Berkeley. Right now we're stuck at step one, though, which is clearing Judith's enormous pile of junk and stuff and furniture and appliances and trash and a Marilyn Monroe statue out of the room that's supposed to be mine.

Since Thursday, I've been sleeping in Judith's guest room, and helping her sort through her mess. She's spent some time on the clean-up and I've spent some time helping her — serious time, double-digit hours — but you can barely see any difference. It's down from three feet of crap to two and a half. At the rate of progress we've been making, it'll be three weeks before I can even start moving my own catastrophe in where hers is now.

But there's been no hurry, and if it took a month, so what. That's been my attitude.

Suddenly, though, there's a deadline. In today's letter from Sarah-Katherine, she's accepted my invitation to visit — and she's already bought her ticket — and she'll be here in two weeks and three days — and oh my godlessness!

(September is more what I had in mind, Sarah-Katherine.)

My leisurely "There's no rush about moving" is over. I gotta get out of the guest room, fast, because that's where my guest will be sleeping (I assume). My room at this house needs to be emptied of Judith's stuff, and my own stuff moved into it, within two weeks and three days, and preferably sooner, so I'm not frantic about that when I'll be nervous about Sarah-Katherine coming.

It's now 7:15 PM, and Judith isn't awake yet. Yeah, she's been asleep all day. She sleeps whenever she's sleepy, wakes whenever she's wakey, and there's no knowing when she'll be asleep or awake to work on the room full of her stuff.

We've agreed that I won't empty the room of her mess myself, because
• I don't know what she wants to keep and what she wants to toss, and
• Judith has a phobia of boxes so I can't just box stuff up.

Which means I can't clear out the room without Judith's help. I need more of her help, on a more reliable schedule.

I'm tired and going to sleep, but tomorrow Judith and I will talk, and I will make her understand that we need to get moving with this moving. The woman of my wet dreams is coming, and I don't even have a bed.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

TUESDAY — I had a reassuring chat with Judith, and she's promised that my soon-to-be room will soon, actually, be my room. She says we'll have it emptied so I can move in by Thursday next, which is a week before Sarah-Katherine comes to visit.

Toward this goal, I have volunteered to switch to Judith Standard Time. She keeps impossible-to-predict hours, rarely wakes before mid-afternoon, and seems most full of energy between midnight and dawn, which is long past my usual bedtime of 9PM. For the next few weeks, though, any time Judith needs to schlep something big, or something small, any time she's in a clean-out-that-room frame of mind, I've told her she's authorized to knock on my door and wake me up. Screw sleeping, for the next few weeks, anyway.

♦ ♦ ♦

We didn't start with a flurry of work, though. I heard Judith working on the room, but I was working on the zine. The May issue is (finally) back from the printer, so the rest of the day was spent assembling and stapling copies, addressing envelopes, and licking stamps.

Too many staples, too many jams, too many envelopes, too many stamps. Too many readers. Where'd you all come from, and why are you reading this, and making me spend a whole afternoon getting the zine ready for mailing?

Seriously. I never thought there'd be more than ten or twelve people in the world reading this diary of a fat slob, but there are so many of you it took five damned hours to get the zine into the mail, not even counting an hour's bus errand to buy more stamps and staples.

If I could afford it I'd hire some doofus to do all this tedious work, but since I have no money, that doofus is me.

The May issue isn't bad, in my opinion, but the issue you're reading — the June issue — shows signs of serious suckage. Guy sells fish. Guy gets depressed. Guy argues with his flatmate's girlfriend. Guy sorta moves to Berkeley, but gets stuck in Limbo instead. It's my own life, and it bores even me to read about it. 

I write better when I'm angry, upset, or annoyed about things, but lately life seems to be going OKish, so the writing is doggy doo. I'm moving out of the slums, into a fairly quiet neighborhood, with a friend and a more human group of flatmates, and trading letters with a woman who inexplicably seems to like me, so life is looking pretty good. Not pathetic at all, which means the next issue of Pathetic Life is gonna be as boring as PBS.

My recommendation? Don't send three dollars for the next issue.

From Pathetic Life #13
Monday & Tuesday, June 26-27, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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