Instead of bouldering and relaxing yesterday, I had the honor of moving my sister. And let me tell you, it took All Day and no small amount of effort. I had to be up early to go with my dad to pickup the moving truck. Then we went to my aunt’s house (where my sister had been staying) and loaded most of her things from there. Next, we drove into the ghetto of Baltimore to get her a TV stand someone was giving away.
As we were driving along the bumpy road surrounded by liquor stores, used car dealerships, and fast food restaurants, I had an epiphany. I wanted to live there. I’d buy myself a dilapidated brick row-house, and get used to the new neighborhood. I’ve lived in less affluent (and therefore more dangerous and interesting) places before. My car got stolen when I was living off campus, and there was regular police activity around there. Now that I’m with my parents in suburbia, I really want to go back to an exciting city neighborhood. I had to remind myself as my eyes slid over bus-stop benches, barber shops, graffiti murals, and rolling beer cans, that this was Baltimore and was therefore not far enough. When I eventually move, it will need to be far away, so I was able to hold myself back this time.
We arrived at the address and predictably, the TV stand wasn’t there. I guarded the truck since it held the majority of my sister’s worldly possessions and wasn’t locked as we parked on a street in the part of town where locks might matter. We gave up on the TV stand, got to my sister’s new place, and unloaded the first truck-full. I re-assembled some tables and the place was starting to come together.
Most importantly, we got the wifi setup. Her personal laptop was too new to run the setup program and the work laptop had some ridiculous wireless client in the way. So we borrowed a third laptop and after completing the activation, it died. I saw the Windows ‘blue screen of death’ and thought “Oh no. I just broke this girl’s laptop. She’s gonna kill me.” But apparently the laptop had been dying anyway, so no harm done.
In the end, it was a tedious, tiring, and sometimes stressful day. I left with a scratch on my arm, a dent in my shin, and a pulled muscle in my back. I couldn’t go rock climbing on Saturday and didn’t go Sunday either because of my back injury. But with all that, I know my sister couldn’t have moved without our help. She didn’t have money to hire movers, and couldn’t have handled it herself. From that point of view, I’m willing to donate a day of my life and a small portion of my wellbeing to help my sister move into her own place and get some stability back in her life.