I just moved to a higher plane; literally. After two and a half years as a resident living on the ground level of a two story building, I have developed a truer understanding of what it means to be a member of the underclass. I am referring not to economic status but rather to the literal state of living under others. Downstream, if you will. Subject to the whims and living habits of those you are in close proximity to; reliant upon their consideration and mercy (or lack thereof).
I now understand the derivation of the expression ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop‘ as my sleeping habits became dependent upon those of my upstairs neighbors. An offer of felt pads for the bottom of their chairs went unheeded, my last complaint about noise well past the quiet hours was met with ‘perhaps it is a ghost’. Eventually it became clear that I must either move out or up. My commitment (and reliance upon) this community is so strong that the choice was clear—I would find a unit on the second floor.
Our building, a renovated mill, is two stories tall but not equipped with an elevator. When I moved in, my health was on the decline and there was no way I could imagine carrying all of my possessions up a flight of stairs. At the moment I am hale and hearty and my bank account able to support the small but necessary luxury of hired help.
Loft on the second floor secured, I had the opportunity to begin moving in some weeks early. I took advantage of this situation as I carted ten to twenty loads up the steps daily. It was like a free gym membership, and the changes in my body (from fit to fitter) have been gratifying.
By the time moving day came, I was certain I had everything under control. Alas, my movers were several hours late and although very careful (a plus), incredibly slow (a big, big minus). Five hours in it was 11 pm, half my stuff was still downstairs, I was over budget and they were ready to leave. I was assured that someone would return on Monday afternoon (this was Friday of Memorial Day Weekend) but honestly that didn’t leave me much time in which to clean my old unit. And if they were late again, I’d be screwed.
I went to bed on my upside down latex mattress which was lying on the floor and woke up sore and pissed. We have a a loft-wide email group and I crafted a plaintive message detailing the pickle I was in. Minutes later the beginning of a rag tag crew began to appear at my door and within three hours a small group between the ages of 25 and 73 had moved the rest of my stuff upstairs. George, Eric, Heather, Machiko, Koichiro, Konnor, Dane, Jay, Susan, Barbara, Brian, Howie—you guys absolutely rock.
One week later, my new loft is still far from assembled. However it is as quiet and peaceful as I had hoped. I think the change in altitude/attitude is going to be a good one.