MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE BODIES

With a couple days left before I leave New York City for a bit — I cannot help saying “a bit” or “for now” for reasons both sentimental and superstitious — I find myself pretty amazed by the number of grown-up person decisions I’ve had to make and execute in a short amount of time. At the time of this writing, I am sitting at my desk and eating from a Halloween handout-sized box of Sour Lightning Lemon Nerds. I am also surrounded by Post-It notes and piles of paperwork detailing some of the things Lisa and I have had to take care of these last couple of weeks, including:

  • hiring coast-to-coast movers
  • moving insurance
  • auto insurance competitive quotes and new policy forms
  • cable and internet disconnection/install
  • new car research, brochures, competitive price quotes, and V.I.N. number
  • california vehicle registration paperwork
  • auto financing forms
  • research and purchase of dashboard-mounted GPS
  • apartment lease
  • cross-country roadtrip itinerary (see you soon, Corn Palace and farmhouse from In Cold Blood!)

I now know a little bit more than I ever did about lien holders and dealer invoice price and the pros and cons of estimating a residential move based on the cubic feet vs. gross weight of its contents. I know about California’s jerky mandatory (state revenue-generating) smog test and VIN verification, even on new vehicles with well-documented low emission rates. I know what paddle shifters are. I know that, when Laverne and Shirley moved to Hollywood and their address was “113 1/2″ this was not some kind of Vaudevillian joke but a real phenomenon common to Los Angeles.

And I know I’m going to leave New York City eight pounds heavier because I insisted on eating as many of my favorite things as possible before leaving, and that many of those favorite things were enjoyed with favorite friends and favorite alcoholic beverages, followed by lurching in my kitchen at four a.m. and drunkenly cramming favorite greasy carbohydrates into my slop hole.

The movers are arriving tomorrow morning, and I’m picking up my new car shortly after that. (pictured here with its previous owner) Then Lisa and I will clean our empty apartment, attend a recital where Lisa will sing “Stormy Weather” and a Lee Hazlewood song, have a couple more drinks with friends, and sleep on our newly-swept floor, get up the next morning, pack the car and, for the first time in over thirteen years, I’ll start everything all over again.

I feel like I’ve been saying goodbye constantly over these last couple of weeks — to the people I like, the shows at which I regularly perform stand-up, to my own cats who are already living in Los Angeles, to bars and restaurants and street vendors, to the buildings in my neighborhood, the evening ride home across the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, to gai tom kha soup at Lemongrass Grill and pretzel croissants and The Pickle Guys on Essex Street, to the conveniences and frustrations of mass transit and the endless anecdotes and pet peeves it naturally produces, to running into friends on the street. I’m tired and a little sad from all of it. There are many things I’m looking forward to in Los Angeles — for instance, my job, which continues to make me feel, in a very un-jaded and corny way, like I’ve won the comedy-writing lottery — but the thing to which I most look forward is the end of goodbyes. That, and In-and-Out Burger.

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