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Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

Steve Sparshott

Enid from the Block

October 23rd, 2009
by Steve Sparshott

LONDON, ENGLAND-

Enid was my local crush, as opposed to, say, a music crush, like Laura Veirs, or a back-in-the-day crush, like Janeane Garofalo. I miss Enid. Not terribly, not like a limb, more like a bus - there’ll be another one along in a while. Crush might be too strong a word.
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Aaron Dietz

7 Mysteries from My Life I’d Like Solved

October 18th, 2009
by Aaron Dietz

SEATTLE, WA-

1. There was this time I got some water out of the faucet, turned the faucet off, left the room, and then came back five minutes later and the faucet was on. I’d sure like to know what happened there.

(No one else in the house had been anywhere near the kitchen, and I distinctly remember turning that faucet off.)

2. I saw a light in the sky in New Mexico that I can’t explain. I was sleeping in a guest bedroom in pitch black darkness when all of a sudden it wasn’t dark anymore. (more…)


Reno J. Romero

What’s Wrong with California?

October 18th, 2009
by Reno J. Romero

WOODLAND, NORTHERN CA -

I moved back to California around two months ago. What brought me back home after fifteen years? Well, a few things. Personal things. Some things not so personal. In the end, I was feeling a bit tapped out in Vegas. The bones weren’t tumbling like they used to and I was almost at the point where I didn’t give a shit either way.

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Rebecca Adler

My Life in Istanbul, So Far

October 5th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Basak meets me at the airport shuttle drop off point in the busy city center. We hail a cab and we’re off to my new apartment. She shows me how to get in and gives me a tour of the apartment. I drop my bags in my room and then we’re off again. She wants to show me the neighborhood so I won’t be lost when I’m all alone at home during the coming weeks. We walk, and walk, and walk. Where we’re going, I don’t know. She shows me her workplace, says I can come there anytime if I need help with anything. And then our destination is in sight: Cevahir, the biggest mall in Europe.

She shows me to the grocery store so I can stock up on a few necessities. I feel awkward shopping in front of her so I try to make healthy choices. I throw a couple of nectarines and bananas into the handbasket, then I head toward the dairy section. Without having to tell her what I’m looking for, and before I can reach for anything, she stops me: “That’s not milk.” (more…)


Rob Bloom

A Thousand Words: A Moving Story

September 15th, 2009
by Rob Bloom

PHILADELPHIA, PA -

There’s a special room in Hell reserved for movers. It’s right beside the room holding the cable guy who said he’d be at your house between 9 and 4 and two doors down from the mechanic who swore your car needed a new filibusterator. This room, which is called something fun like The Devil’s Armpit, is only 528 square feet and:

  1. mind-blowingly hot
  2. completely and totally empty.

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Matt Baldwin

The First Thing I Did After You Moved Out

September 11th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

SAN DIEGO CA-

The first thing I did after you moved out was rearrange the furniture.

Before your moving truck even made it down the hill to the interstate I was back upstairs, calculating the new geometric equation that redefined “our” home as “my” home. It was easy; the strength I wasted trying to keep us together was more than adequate to the task. With all of your junk gone there was at last room to move, room to breathe. You took away so much but at least you left me with that.

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Jennifer Duffield White

How a Girl and her Dog Drove from New York to Montana

August 29th, 2009
by Jennifer Duffield White

MISSOULA, MT-

The barefoot summer is nearly over.

My soles are dirty, maybe permanently so; they are also thick and somewhat wiser than they were when this summer began 2,714 miles east of here.

There are certain things one learns (or doesn’t learn) when driving the highway between New York and Montana

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Matt Baldwin

E-mailing the Hurricane

August 28th, 2009
by Matt Baldwin

NEW ORLEANS, LA-

Note to the reader: I lived in New Orleans from 2001-2005. For the last six months of this period I held a position both on the security team and as an ER intake/administrator at the Oschner hospital, the largest medical facility in Orleans Parish and one of only two to remain open in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. As a member of the Disaster Relief Staff remained within the city for the storm and the first few weeks of the aftermath. The following document is a collection of the emails I mass-sent to friends and family during that time. I have edited out some bits of personal information of no interest to the casual reader and have made some minor corrections to the spelling, but have otherwise left the text unchanged, grammatical warts and all, so as to preserve the immediacy in which these were originally written. Some of the second-hand information reported herein was later proven to be hearsay, and some of it turned out to be worse than originally thought. I was very torn as to whether I should publish this at all, and am doing so largely due to the encouragement of some friends and fellow TNBers.

The paragraph titles are taken from the subject lines of the original emails.

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Joi Brozek

“Toto, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Brooklyn, Anymore,” or The End of My New York Life

August 19th, 2009
by Joi Brozek

LAWRENCE, KS-

“Joi, I hear you’re moving! Where ya going?”

“Kansas.”

Kansas?!” they would shriek. “Why are you moving to Kansas?!” As if I had said, “Siberia,” or “New Jersey.” Why, even banshees cry, Kansas, don’t they?

I’d have to go through some variation of the above several times a night in the months prior to leaving New York City. Most often, this would be shouted across a bar. Typically this would be one of the two bars I was tending at the time, but it just as easily could have happened when I was on the other side of the bar, already halfway done with my Hendricks martini, or Hendricks Collins, or hell, Hendricks and tonic if I knew the bartender was inept at making a 2- or 3- step cocktail. I had developed quite the Hendricks habit once I started my drinking-for-free career in New York. It’s inevitable once you are a bartender. Ok, not the Hendricks habit per se, but definitely a top shelf habit.

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Will Entrekin

When Your Heart is a House, You’re Home

August 18th, 2009
by Will Entrekin

JERSEY CITY, NJ-

I can’t decide how it feels to type those few words. Just a location. Geo-spatial coordinates related to a space I’m occupying. Heck, my phone has some radio or other Google Maps can apparently pinpoint to within 50 or so meters (not sure how I feel about that one yet, either), so it’s not as though location is a difficult thing to measure.

So. This is my first post here at TNB. Happy to be here. I actually meant to begin posting sooner, but then I read that every post on this site begins with a location . . . suddenly, I felt cogs slowing to halts. Grinding down. Or maybe spinning harder, faster, nearly out of control.

I guess that’s just one more thing I can’t be certain of yet.

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Patrick Parr

A Thousand Words: Prelude to a Picture

August 17th, 2009
by Patrick Parr

ELLENSBURG, WA-

Can a man truly change his life using reason as his guide? Or is the only way to break yourself in two?

My situation came from this basic fact-filled sentence: I was twenty-four, a tennis teaching pro living in Buffalo with three other graduate students when I decided to move to Japan.

The thought made me smile. Japan…Japan…but it wasn’t the rational thought of moving to another country, learning another language, another culture, that made me smile. It was the sheer insanity of it.

I knew nothing about Japan. Absolutely nothing.

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Zara Potts

I Nearly Married a Stranger (Or Don’t Judge a Journal by its Cover Part 2)

August 12th, 2009
by Zara Potts

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -

In part one of this sorry little tale, I established that reading other people’s journals is a bad thing - especially if you don’t bother reading all the way to the end.

I also established that in my younger days I fell in love far too willingly. Once even, with someone simply because he told me I had perfect nostrils.

This propensity to hand over my heart, and to snoop in other people’s journals, had been my undoing as I watched my love object fly off to another country and into the waiting arms of another girl.

I thought I’d never see him again.

I was wrong. Damn it.

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Rebecca Adler

Marking Time

August 6th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

It’s been a week since I last saw you. Almost two months since we stopped sleeping together. Four months since you started dating someone new. Seven months since you moved out. Eight months since you shattered my picture of our future. One year since we moved into our new apartment together. Sixteen months since you photographed my sister’s wedding. Eighteen months since we returned from France. Nearly two years since I greeted you at the airport in Paris. Three years since we first moved in together. Three years and some months since you first told me you loved me. It was during the same trip when I took you to meet my parents. It had already been two months since I had first met yours. Further back in our history was our first fight: three and a half years ago (still one of my most memorable St. Patrick’s Days).  It was more than three and a half years that we first had sex. Almost four years since we began hanging out. And, it was nearly five years ago when we first met.

These are the events by which I have been marking my time - something I have been doing for far too long.

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Leaving

July 26th, 2009
by Alexander Maksik

PARIS-

These arrangements of empty chairs are what’s left of celebration, argument, meditation, sleep and revelation.  They huddle together like still animals in the cold.  From a chair beneath a plane tree, the round tracks of a cane disappear into the gravel.

The single chairs are absent of their poets, readers and afternoon philosophers.

Those side by side and face to face are absent of their lovers, their chess players, the soon to be married and the just abandoned.

The great groups of circles and strange half-moons have lost their lecturers, their students.

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Colleen McGrath

A Thousand Words: Eulogy for a Cat

July 15th, 2009
by Colleen McGrath

BERLIN, GERMANY

Some might find it difficult to love a person who intentionally pees on your stuff.  Perfectly understandable.  And when that person is a cat, well, the answer seems clear.  Get a new cat.  But then she looks at you with those big eyes and curls up in your lap, purrs in your ear, and greets you at the door like a dog.  Unfair, really.  There is no defense for that.  So you think well, they all die sometime.  I’ll just wait it out.  My cat died yesterday. (more…)


Jennifer Duffield White

The Barefoot Summer

July 7th, 2009
by Jennifer Duffield White

SARANAC LAKE, NY-

It might be because this is my last summer in these mountains, for a while at least.

Or because my friend Amy is obsessed with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and their barefoot running.

Or because I just quit my job of nearly 10 years.

In any case, I’m conducting another experiment, exposing tender skin to the jagged edges of my world.

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Simon Smithson

A Thousand Words: Going Out West

July 7th, 2009
by Simon Smithson

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-

I landed in San Francisco at the end of November, 2008. Home - Australia, a country I’d left for the first time - was thousands of miles away, along with my family, my friends, and every place I’d ever known. The closest friend I knew was in New York; although, luckily for me, through the magic of MySpace I wasn’t totally bereft of human contact on the West Coast. Even luckier, my MySpace contacts turned out to actually be who they claimed, and my fears of a white slavery ring vanished like a cobweb before a flamethrower. (more…)


Kip Tobin

The Electrifying Conclusion to One of the Sloppiest International Moves in Recent History, or Everything (Supposedly) Happens for a Reason

June 16th, 2009
by Kip Tobin

MADRID, SPAIN-

“Passport?” At 3 am I jolt upright in bed. “Where’s my passport?” In 12 hours I’m to get on a plane on an international flight back to the US–to move back after living her for six years–and at that instant a something massive and visceral smacks me awake. I hadn’t seen my passport in a few days. Inés wakes up, asks what’s wrong, says she’ll always lucky at finding things and that she’ll help me look for it. From 3 to 4 am we search all three pieces of luggage and every corner, shelf and nook throughout the apartment. Nowhere. It’s gone. A numbness covers me, because as I think about when I last saw it and where it should be, I can only deduce that I most likely threw it away, inadvertently. Because this final move consisted of giving away, disposing of or recycling all the surplus, I conclude that I either tossed it in the trash, gave it to a friend in some heap of a donation, or it went in the paper recycling bin along with hundreds of other papers that didn’t make the cut.

That’s right, I threw away my passport and realize it 13 hours before my flight.

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D.R. Haney

And a New Chapter Begins

June 16th, 2009
by D.R. Haney

LOS ANGELES—

I spent nine years writing Banned for Life, my recently published novel. I consider that a long time to work on a book; James Joyce, whose name I’m unfit to mention by way of comparison, worked on Ulysses for eight years, and that book is longer than mine by over three hundred pages. (I post this on Bloomsday.)

Was it worth it? I don’t really know, yet. It will depend, I suppose, on how it’s received. At the moment, a number of friends are reading Banned, or maybe some of them have finished reading, only they haven’t told me, either because they haven’t had time to write me or call, or they didn’t like it and they’re afraid to tell me, or they did like it and they aren’t quite sure how to express it. I’m an Author now. It’s not a big deal at all to me, the title of Author, but maybe it strikes some of my friends as a big deal, because so many people have vague plans to write a book someday but they deep down suspect they’ll never get around to it. I’ve had two friends announce their jealousy, or as one of them, a comely Scot, put it: “I’d like to slap your face!”
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Rebecca Adler

Going to Istanbul (not Constantinople)

June 7th, 2009
by Rebecca Adler

SACRAMENTO, CA

I come from a family of dreamers. My dad was always chasing some harebrained idea or another. One week he’d be talking about starting his own business, and the next he’d be obsessed with buying a motor home to travel cross-country in. My mother spent many a weekend humoring my father as he dragged her from mobile home lot to mobile home lot looking for the perfect vehicle for this crazy adventure that has yet to materialize - twenty years later. At some point my mom took to saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it, Grant,” to just about every idea my father came up with.

Granted, my father made these things all sound wondrous and doable, but when it came to the logistics of trying to do any of the things he wanted to do, it just wasn’t going to happen with nine children in tow. (more…)