Not Even Kind of a Better Move

WE MOVED!!! It’s finally over!!! Well, not over – we are still living among the boxes BUT we are here which, at one point, seemed like it might never happen.

Moving, in general, is a gigantic pain in the ass. The only upside to moving is that it provides you with an opportunity to get rid of all the shit you don’t really need. There is a nice clean feeling that comes along with moving – a fresh start and all that good stuff but holy bajolies does it suck.

The drive from Raleigh, NC to Nashville, TN typically takes somewhere between 9 and 10 hours – the entirety of which is spent on the oh-so-exciting I-40. It is pretty for about 3 of those hours while you’re going through the Appalachian Mountains. The other 7ish hours, on the other hand, are boring and a little depressing except, of course, the part where you round the corner, see the Nashville skyline, and realize not all hope is lost. Our trip took 18 hours.

We were all packed – everything organized in boxes and labeled nicely. We were actually ready for the movers this time as opposed to our usual style of franticly packing whilst the movers load up the truck at a ridiculous speed as if to mock our inability to get our shit together. J went to pick up the truck while I waited at home cleaning things up and waiting for the movers to arrive. A short while later, I got a text from J explaining that Penske would be renting us a much larger truck at no additional cost because all of the other trucks in the lot were reserved. Apparently, the reservation we made weeks in advance for a 17-foot truck was not as important as the other reservations and we’d just have to deal with a 26-footer. How nice of them not to charge us extra for fucking up our reservation! He arrived back at the apartment with the behemoth vehicle towing our Saturn on a “tow-dolly” which, as we learned when we almost tore the wheel off the axel, cannot go in reverse, because that makes perfect sense. No one ever needs to go in reverse. It’s a ridiculous gear.

The movers arrived just after J and I got the truck settled and made pretty quick work of our 2 bedroom apt. Then, after a half-assed cleaning of the apartment which I am almost certain will result in the loss of some of our deposit, we got on the road at about 2:30 pm Raleigh (ET) time. We were so excited to be moving back to Nashville and to be done with Raleigh (nothing against Raleigh, the two years we spent there just happened to be particularly difficult) that we didn’t care that we’d be getting in super late, or that we could only stop at creepy truck stops because we lacked the capacity to go in reverse, or that we would be spending a fortune on gas for the comically large truck we were driving that was half-full – we were just happy.

We’d given into peer pressure and downloaded The Hunger Games to listen to on the road. We were about two chapters in when I noticed some odd movement in the car next to us. So, I looked over and wouldn’t you know – the man driving the SUV alongside us was masturbating. Delightful. Nothing like being forced to be a part of a stranger’s sexual experience while you’re just trying to enjoy a book about teenagers killing each other. This is actually the second time this has happened to me which could get me started on a whole tirade about street harassment and rape culture and how disgusted I am by a good bit of the male population but that would take a while and this fantastic article by my sister-in-law pretty much sums it up. Anyway, I ducked out of the creeper’s line of vision and told J what was going on. His reaction was to lean over to give the guy a dirty look and some choice words. The perv then slowed down, got behind us, and passed us on the left. At least he obeyed passing etiquette. J then flipped the guy the bird and I took down his license plate number. NC Plate BBJ 8700, in case you were wondering. Then, in an effort to get some highway justice, we called information to get the number for the local police department. After being transferred a time or two, I was put in touch with a dispatcher for the Davie County Sherriff’s Department who was awesome. When this happened to me in college, I called the Knoxville PD who showed up and basically said, “shit happens” and were more concerned about the car illegally parked across the street from my house than with catching the peeping Tom who’d been spying on me while I studied in my back yard. The Davie Country dispatcher took down our whereabouts, and got a few deputies in the area to post up several exits ahead of us to try to catch the guy. The problem is that we were in the ridiculously large truck, which topped out at about 65 MPH, and the asshole in the SUV was going quite a bit faster. At any rate, the dispatcher stayed on the phone with me for some time, until I could no longer see the creeper’s vehicle and we’d passed a deputy or two that had been waiting with no luck yet. A few minutes after I got off the phone, we saw flashing blue lights up ahead. Highway justice! Or so we thought. As we got closer, we realized they had pulled over an SUV that very closely matched the description we gave but was definitely not the same vehicle. Hopefully they didn’t grill him too hard about indecent exposure since the license plate didn’t match…

UGH. Anyway, we were not about to let some degenerate ruin our trip so we resumed the audio book and pressed on. Then we got to Knoxville, which is the first sign of home on the long trip. We went to college there, we started dating there, and despite the ickiness of a certain aforementioned experience, the city always brings about a wistful feeling for us. We passed through the city, catching a glimpse of the Sunsphere (which really is full of wigs) and were coming up on the long stretch of nothing between Knoxville and Crossville when the truck made some loud, strange noises and slowed WAY down to about 40 MPH. We pulled off at the next exit around 11 pm (ET), called the 24/hr emergency roadside assistance number and didn’t even make it off the exit ramp before the truck completely stopped moving. The roadside assistance folks told us it was a computer glitch not entirely uncommon in the model we were driving and talked J through how to reset the computer. He did and it worked. So, we pulled into the closest truck stop to get gas where a rather large fellow asked J if he was “PCF-ing” to which J replied, “I don’t know what that means.” and walked/ran back to the truck. According to Google, PCF could mean anything from “Positive Cash Flow” to “Post-Coital Flatus” so; god only knows what the trucker meant.

We got back to the highway and didn’t even make it to the next exit before the same thing happened. Loud noises, truck slowing down, etc. We pulled over, reset the computer again and moved forward. Again, it happened. So, we pulled off at the next exit, which, thankfully, had two truck stops and called the 24/hr emergency roadside assistance number. 20 minutes later, we got a person on the phone who found a mechanic in our area and said he’d be there within the hour. Exactly an hour later, Rick arrived. Rick’s stature and facial hair were not unlike that of Yosemite Sam – only Rick’s beard was grey and curly. He jumped down from his truck smoking a cigarette, wearing a neon green reflective vest and a baseball cap sporting the Jamaican flag adorned with a Jamaican flag pin. We sat on the curb watching Rick work on the truck hoping he would magically fix it in a matter of minutes and we’d be on our way. A while later, he said he couldn’t find anything in particular wrong with the vehicle. He instructed us to get back on the road, he’d follow us about 10 miles and, if it happened again we were to pull over. We didn’t even make it to the interstate before it happened again and Rick had us pull into the other truck stop across the street while he called Penske to give them a status report. Then, Rick told us that he’d done all he could do and Penske would be giving us a call to figure out our next move.

Back on the phone with Penske, they gave us a few options. 1 – They could attempt to locate another truck in the area and movers to transfer all of our worldly belongings from the POS truck to the new one and we could continue on our trip OR 2 – they could hire a tow truck to take us all the way to Nashville. We chose option 2. So, they called Rick back. He could do it but he needed to go get his other truck capable of towing the monstrous vehicle we’d been given in error, which would take about an hour and 15 minutes. At this point, it was 1:15 am (ET). So, we waited. Around 3:00 am (ET), Rick finally showed up in a semi-truck with a towing device on the back. We removed the Saturn from the tow-dolly and put some gas in it, happy to be driving it the rest of the way instead of the truck. We were at the pump when a portly young hippie in a newsboy cap approached us and asked if we had to tow our moving truck all the way to our destination. When we replied in the affirmative, he asked if Ryder was going to take care of us. We just said yes, not bothering to point out that fact that our truck read “PENSKE” in big, bold letters on the side. He then said, “Look, I don’t know what you guys are into, but…” and opened his hand to reveal what appeared to be a couple of pills and a bud of weed. Excellent. Just what I wanted: a sweaty palm-full of pills and weed. But then he finished his thought. Apparently, he was not holding a variety of drugs in his hand; it was gemstones. He explained that he’s a Christian and he carries these particular gemstones around because they are the same ones that Moses wore on his breastplate into battle and they are known to provide strength and luck. He continued to explain that he carries extras of these gemstones and likes to give them to people who appear to be having a hard time. I guess our misery was pretty obvious. Delirious and confused, we just said, “Thanks” and offered to buy him a cup of coffee.

At exactly 5:12 am (ET) the truck was finally all hooked up and we were back on the road to Nashville. We started out following Rick, but he could only go about 50 MPH and the hazard lights flashing through the fog threatened to lull us to sleep as we approached being awake for more than 24 hours. We confirmed that Rick knew where he was going and sped past him finally arriving at J’s parents’ house at 7:30 am (CT). My peach of a mother-in-law had a Bloody Mary waiting for me but I was too tired to do anything but send my family a text to let them know we’d arrived safely and pass directly out.

We woke back up around noon, relived the whole night over breakfast with J’s parents and promptly got a move on. See what I did there? A good chunk of my family (two of my brothers, my dad, my two nephews, and my mom) along with J’s parents all came to help us unload the truck. J and I walked onto our new patio and, I shit you not, there was a small white heart painted on one of the trees. This, for whatever reason, made me cry happy tears. We then entered the apartment and for the first time ever it looked exactly as pictured on the website. It is amazing and adorable and perfect and I love it so much. It is also 300 sq ft smaller than our previous place so you can expect some future posts about making the most of a small space.

It’s taken us a whole week to recover from the nonsense and even just writing it all down makes me feel like I need a stiff drink and a nap. BUT it’s over and we’re finally home. And that’s all there is – there isn’t anymore.

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One thought on “Not Even Kind of a Better Move

  1. Grace, I don’t know if it makes me feel better or worse that I now know someone else who has experienced not once, but multiple times the joy of what should be called vehicular sexual assault. I thought I was lucky, but it turns out there are just that many creeps out there. Yuck! Scratch that – worse, definitely feels worse!

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