Firstly, it is entirely Selena’s fault that everything currently occurs to me in the metaphor of a zombie apocalypse. Why is this entirely Selena’s fault? (Aw! ~ed.) Because she recommended to me the app (that so so so is the opposite of “suck”) Rebuild. Yes, it’s all her fault. Upon downloading this wonderful game, I spent hours on the floor playi”¦ I mean, monitoring the bunny rabbits’ introductions. OK, fine, I was playing the app. I only let the bunnies out to have an excuse to play this app. And, therefore, everything I’ve thought, dreamt, and talked about has been a zombie reference (more or less obscurely).
But seriously, folks. Have you moved across the country? What about as an adult? As a stubborn adult who refused to leave anything behind? Not even the hat that I never wore that was falling apart anyway? No. I didn’t think so. No one in the entire history of the world has had to go through this sort of thing.
Which is why moving cross-country (especially a big fucking country like the U.S.) is like the Zombie Apocalypse.
First, you should know a quick backstory that will add to the total exhaustion that embodies what I imagine the zombie apocalypse (hereafter: Z.A.) will be known for. (Yes, exhaustion is what the Z.A. will be known for.) BF moved from a city in the midwest to a city in the northern midwest. A mere 510 miles. He had to pack 73% of his apartment the night before, however. So he began to not sleep starting Friday. By Sunday, he had flown to me, in NYC, where we spent a beautiful 36 hours celebrating our love, my birthday, our anniversary, our big move, the fact that we haven’t seen each other in two months”¦ (I imagine this is the equivalent to the night before the world ends). Then, we woke up early Tuesday – at this point, he’s had one semi-decent night sleep – to move the entirety of my apartment into a 12-foot truck in what was easily the hottest day thus far this year.
It smelled like garbage (corpses, indeed), but, admittedly, this is because I lived across from a junkyard on an abandoned street in Brooklyn.
Then, the long trek. Just shy of 1000 miles. 14 hours. We began at 1 p.m. Yup, your math is right. That means arriving at 3 a.m., driving mostly through the night.
Leaving Brooklyn was hard. I had a family there (literally, as my sister was a brief walk away, and acquired family). It was hard to leave it behind. And as we’re pulling out of Brooklyn, about to cross the bridge into Manhattan, I see two friends on the sidewalk, I scream out the window at them, and they push through the crowds, the cars, and they clamber to the window to give hugs, kisses, cries, and goodbyes. Then the light turned green, and we pulled away. Their faces fading further and further into the distance, before they were wholly swept up into the horde, er, uhm, I mean, uhm, crowd”¦ the crowded sidewalk.
And indeed I was travelling into the unknown, in so far as I literally had no idea what my apartment or neighborhood looked like. BF so gratefully and enthusiastically took over the apartment shopping given my inability to multitask come end-of-semester. All I knew was that it was BF-approved. So we kept driving. Him sleeping. Me driving. Picturing a future unpictureable, in a city whose skyscrapers I did not know (something about Batman?), in a neighborhood I’d only heard mentioned. Indeed, I knew not what my future held.
Oh, and I was driving at night. There was no sense of continuity from Pennsylvania (which is the biggest state ever; seriously, it’s like 8 of the 14 hours of the drive) on, nothing unfolding over the horizon coming toward me slowly with a warm, orange, summery sun. Nope. Darkness.
Also, I had not driven for 6-8 months (or more!!!), then had to jump behind a 12-foot tow truck with no rear view mirror?! Talk about horrifying.
We did finally arrive, but it didn’t make the horror that is the metaphor of the Z.A. end. There’s this overwhelming hopelessness that life will ever return to normal, that we’ll never be done unpacking (we’re still not done unpacking, you guise). Just when you think you’ve killed the last wave of boxes, fought back the last wave of clutter, broken down the last bit of cardboard hell, a new, unrelenting mass is heading your way, or,OK, you’re heading toward it (presuming you haven’t retreated into the shower, on the floor, in tears). And, as if the boxes aren’t enough, there was the psychological challenge of the incessantly beeping dryer. Beep… beep……….. beep. *cringes*
Moving across country, to be clear, has been really exciting. It’s a chance at a new life for me and my partner (and the chance at a partnering for our bunnies”¦). We get to create a space that represents both of us, and each particular aesthetic in a way that’s synthesized and personalized.
But holeymotherofgawd it’s been a long trip to get here. We’ve battled darkness and uncertainty, encroaching madness, as well. Seriously, I think we had an argument (read: intense conversation) about whether the ombre rug should be dark to light or light to dark. Things occur and are discussed that never would have come up if this were “normal life,” if we weren’t in the midst of a Z.A”¦ I mean, cross-country move.
We’re in the rebuilding phase. The apartment is coming together, and BF and I are working out kinks that every couple has to upon moving in together. But, (if you’re familiar with the app) it’s day 5 of 10 of building our constitution, though we have more buildings than we really need (seriously, we have so.much.shit). The danger level is continuously decreasing as we both gain skill levels and welcome more people into our camp”¦ er, uhm, lives.
And here we are, both rebuilding our lives – he with a new job, a new territory and the new challenges that comes with these things and me with being outside of academia for the first time since I was five years old (FIVE YEARS OLD YOU GUISE).
There are still looming threats of what people have become (ourselves included), the transience of life in general, and the inevitability of our own ends (or, barring that, the ends of our sanity). However, as with any cataclysmic event, we must learn swiftly that this is the way life is now. So, we unpack our things, settle in, and stay vigilant. Together.
Next: Why the Zombie Apocalypse will be Nothing Like the Zombie Apocalypse
Super special shout out to Marshmallow: zombie-enthusiast, king of (improv) comedy, and master of metaphor, and bff extraordinary.