Thursday, May 24, 2012

LaLa Girl

The left side of my neck is fully jacked up. My shoulder is also in a state of dismay, and all of the muscles in my upper arm (mah guns) are sore. I suppose that is to be expected after helping somebody move.  And what a move it was... our lovely Chapel Hill Carrboro LaLa girl has been transplanted!

You can imagine the amount of stuff that a young woman on the brink of greatness would bring along on a cross country relocation.  She had two whole duffel bags! And a messenger bag. And, I think, a wallet.

It was hard!

I took the day off and drove up to LAX to meet my scrumptious niece, who had done gone and bought herself a one way ticket to LaLa land. She's got a job and an apartment and more potential in her wee tiny pinkie tootsie than any of us mere mortals have in our whole selves, including our imaginations. But at least we have beds. 
Oh. Nevermind.

But wait, let me back up. I got to the airport stupidly early, not knowing if I'd hit traffic or lose a tire or something. Colleen's flight was delayed so I got to hang out for a while and watch the freakshow. I was so wrapped up in one couple's riveting saga that I almost didn't even see our girl descending on  the escalator! So I didn't catch the arrival photo. I didn't catch most of the obligatory photos, and once again I did not have a Schlekah at my disposal. Not even one. But I had my girl with her pink mountain lungs, and I felt terrible about bringing her outside into the gray heavy air of Los Angeles.

Because the universe is a magical fairy land, it just so happened that Julie and Colleen had an acquaintance in Asheville who wanted to rid himself of a bed in a house just a few blocks from Colleen's new apartment. That's the house in the photo above, the one with the narrow staircase, see? We considered flinging the mattress like a frisbee from the top of the stairs to the hilly street below where my car was parked, but then Colleen had the brilliant idea to just slide the mofo down the railing. The flinging would have been more flamboyant and fun, but this was okay too. I thought it was important to capture that moment up there. Look how much fun! As soon as we got to the bottom, a friendly neighbor popped over to hoist the mattress up onto my roof for us, and then he scurried off, leaving us to secure the thing with some pretty orange rope I'd bought just that morning.

We didn't know what we were doing per se, there was no method to our fastening. We just threw the rope thing back and forth to each other, alternating over and under the roof rack, at one point we opted to go through the back windows, we enlisted the mattresses grab handles and tied complicated knots and we kept it up until the mattress was snug as a bug. Then we crossed our fingers and climbed in and got ready to head down the hill.   

We opened the sun roof because... well, because we could. And I thought it was very important to keep a close eye on the mattress to make sure it wasn't moving.

I got a little nervous when we started to drive. I could clearly see a scene unfold in my mind's eye: the mattress would fly off of the car and land on the street or the windshield of the car behind me, causing me to be horrified beyond belief and/or murdered in cold blood by a raging roadster. At the very least I would probably cause a traffic problem in LA at 5pm on a Tuesday, and I would definitely get shot.

It was going fairly well, though. We didn't have to get on the freeway in between addresses, and the first few turns were quiet residential streets where I could go very slowly and we could all focus on my shrieking accusations that IT IS MOVING! And Colleen's quiet reassurances that it was not.  We each had an arm out of our window to keep tabs on the mattress, in my case keeping tabs meant maintaining a death grip that caused all of the muscles on the left side of my arm and torso to seize and revolt, thus rendering mah guns and neck so shamefully flummoxed the next day.   

Then we had to go on a bit of a bigger, more populated avenue to reach our destination. We were expected to drive a little faster, but we could feel the front of the mattress lifting upward against the force of the oncoming wind, and that lifting was almost enough to send me straight into hysterics.  

Almost, but not quite.

There came a certain point when I got tired of holding on to the mattress out my window. It was uncomfortable and annoying and it wasn't doing anything to prevent or delay the inevitable carnage, so I just let go. Colleen was impressed with my ability to so suddenly completely change my disposition on the matter, but I am nothing if not a woman of surprising strength and calm in the face of probable crashing and murder.

And guess what? We made it.

What were you so worried about, Colleen?
As we untied the complicated knots to release the mattress from its bondage, a man walked up the street pulling his two grandchildren in a little red radio flyer wagon. He pointed at me and said "watch the kids" then asked Colleen where the mattress was going and promptly popped it up on top of his head and carried it right up the stairs into her second story apartment and into her empty new bedroom. I kept busy winding the rope back onto its cage thingie while one of the kids fell out of the wagon.

And then we unloaded the few silly things I had managed to bring along from my house that I thought might help a girl on the move feel more settled in to a big, strange new city. It's the little things, after all: sheets and peanut butter and a lamp made by her Jidoo.

Swoon, goes my heart.

It was really hot out. I brought her the hot comforter hoping that she's a cold sleeper. I did think the cooler comforter would be better, but I felt bad after taking it directly off of my sleeping son to put in my car, so I gave it back to him.
Then we decided to go out for a bite before I had to hit the road back south. We laid on the floor in her empty apartment and yelped nearby mexican restaurants, finding the exactly perfect place and then driving around in concentric circles (me) instead of looking at the directions (her) to get there. 

Here Colleen is telling me about her very interesting work and hopes and dreams while I take note that her nose hoop matches the purple of the mural's bougainvillea perfectly
It was a big day, a day full of adventure and life changing risk taking and possibilities.

I bet it was exciting for Colleen, too.
Welcome to the left coast, LaLa Girl! Never forget that I can be there in less time than it takes to watch a feature length film.

I'm not sure about a documentary.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

OH my GOD you are so awesome. I mean, picking LaLa Girl up and bringing her a Jidoo-lamp and, you know, *sheets* and all that, blah blah blah.

But sentences like this?:

Colleen was impressed with my ability to so suddenly completely change my disposition on the matter, but I am nothing if not a woman of surprising strength and calm in the face of probable crashing and murder.

Mad skillz, Jacqueline, mad skillz.

Love you, love LaLa Girl, love the Jidoo lamp, love the ending, love both you Women Warriors.


MomC said...

Ellie said it all, what an amazing day, you two. Well done Jacquie and Colleen. Proud. xoxo mom/gram

MB said...

Aw, love every single word and pic, Jacq. You are so super sweet & awesome. Enjoy LaLa Land, Col! xoxo

Me, You, or Ellie said...

You are so dang funny, Jacqueline! Seriously, laugh-out-loud funny. Ann Lamont, indeed! (swoon)

What fun for you two girls. I'm so impressed and pleased (sorry, Julie) that your fine young neice, you know, the one with more potential in her wee tiny pinkie tootsie than any of us mere mortals have in our whole selves, including our imaginations, has decided to move right up the coast.

I'm so curious for more details though. I mean, I too want to know about her very interesting work and hopes and dreams!!

Fabulous post, Jac. Love the death grip, helpful men, and family *love*!!

love you!


julie said...

I am doubled over laughing about the kid and the wagon! I love you, I love this SO much. Awesome sauce. Now please excuse me while I read it again.

BreezieGirl said...

I'm with Beth on all points... also, the documentary is fully possible on days when cranes fall on the freeway and the day before Thanksgiving. Not that I've had *any* experience whatsoever...

Me, You, or Ellie said...

At least I didn't take a picture of the fallen kid.

Thanks, everyone! Some posts are really fun to write :)