AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 6/23/2004 09:58:00 AM ----- BODY:

Blood, Sweat, and Windex

I don't know if you've ever had the opportunity to haul a queen-size King Koil pillow-top mattress, queen size split box spring, and a solid oak bookshelf headboard, completely assembled in the box up a set of rickety old Victorian stairs with a bend at the bottom, but if it ever comes your way, I suggest you try it. It builds character. Yes, it was another one of those things that raises the specter of every Marlboro and cheeseburger I've ever consumed. By the time we finished, sweat was rolling down my face, beading in my hair, and collecting in odiferous pools in my armpits. Just as we were getting the last piece lugged into the kitchen, just as I slumped against the plastic-wrapped mattress to breathe heavily and lament my physical condition, my neighbor in apt. 3 walked by and tossed over, "I would have helped you." I hope he wasn't looking through the peephole as I flicked him off. My dad laughed at this. I'm lucky to have a Dad who's handy. He took charge of putting the bed together, which is fortunate, since that means it'll stay together. Not everyone has a Dad like that--or if they do, a Dad willing to give up practically his whole week to move his neurotic daughter into her first apartment. Or a Mom who raids her own pantry and donates pots, pans, dishes, paper towels, toilet paper, Ziploc Baggies, tin foil and assorted other items I would never have thought of to the cause. Or a boyfriend willing to put up with my utter and absolute bitchiness at times during this transition, as transition is not really my strong suit. Work? What's work? I can't think of anything besides where I'm going to put this or that, how and when we're going to get things sorted out or moved over there and when the cable guy is coming. I'm not complaining, though. Ohhhhhhhhhh no. Once we get through the pain-in-the-ass part of boxes and sorting and trash and recycling and realizing I need a mattress pad and a garbage barrel and Oh Christ that means hitting Wal-Mart again... I will have a Space that's Mine. And that just makes me deeply, unspeakably satisfied. My apartment is beautiful. I love it like a person. I can't wait for you all to meet it.