We listed the condo Friday before last and in the couple weeks leading up to that moment, there was much to do. SO MUCH TO DO. There was painting, packing, painting, staging, painting, cleaning, painting, sighing – a lot of sighing – and then MORE PAINTING. This was not unlike the last time we put the condo up for sale with the notable exceptions of me not losing my mothereffing mind and the things we painted then were different than the things we painted this time.
Janie is currently car-less and she lives a ways away so it was harder for her to make it over to clean all the things. I spent night after night coming home from work and doing things. So many things. I did so many things in those weeks that there shouldn’t have been more things to do BUT THERE STILL ARE. I could still do things if I gave a shit anymore which I don’t. I’ve done too many things to care about doing more things. I THINK YOU UNDERSTAND ME. NO MORE THINGS!
One of my final THINGS before listing photos were taken was to clean up the yard. It was still winter and cold and there was a lot of rain and snow and other reasons I didn’t want to be outside, but those things don’t matter or care about your deadlines and dreams. And by your deadlines and dreams, I mean mine. Obviously. I met with one of our agents after work and then set out to pull weeds, scoop poop, trim some bush (heh heh), mow the lawn, etc. You know what I’m getting at…yard work! It’s all the same! The only hitch was that is was now 7pm and pitch black out. The patio lights, though functional and bright, only illuminated the patio, not the yard beyond. So I had to get a construction light, plug it in and carry it around with me as I scooped dog crap into a baggie and pulled weeds and cut a bush back with scissors from Ikea because WHERE THE HELL ARE THE CLIPPERS!? Up until then I don’t think any neighbors noticed the creeper wandering the yard with a construction light but then it was time to mow. And weed whack. And I couldn’t do those with the light in my hand so I did them under the cloak of night. If anyone looked out they would have seen a shadowy figure running an electric mower over the two sprigs of grass and were probably thinking – SHE HAS FINALLY LOST HER MARBLES. To which I say – HA! THAT WAS SO 2010. When I gave the condo keys to the agent the following morning so they could get in for photos, I warned him…If it looks like I weed whacked that grass in the dark it’s because YES I DID. They only used one outdoor photo in the listing and in it was not one stitch of yard. Whoopsie!
The good news is that after only a weekend we got an offer, and then we negotiated a counter offer because we are adults doing business. This is exactly what I thought being an adult would feel like when I was growing up…talking with people and saying no not that BUT HOW ABOUT THIS? And then we win and everyone gets ice cream. I guess the only difference is that selling a home is lose-lose and I ate that ice cream out of the container while sitting in my bed and crying. You lose your home and then you lose all your money because the market is crap and people lied when they told you that you can’t go wrong with investing in real estate! People lie a lot more in adult real life than they did in my vision of adult life. Also, not as much stamping papers and I don’t have a briefcase. This is all to say that we have potentially sold our condo, and I say potentially because we need to make it through the appraisal process and an inspection. I feel less worried about the inspection than the appraisal, not because I think it isn’t worth it, but because how can a stranger know what makes this condo worth it? Yeah, sure, put a price on property and upgrades, on landscaping and location – but what about my heart and soul, spilled out in every room? The tears I’ve left in that bedroom the last two years should be worth at least $10,000 to some black magic voodoo wizard.
On my last night of cleaning, I had a minor meltdown. I was keeping Ducati locked in the back bedroom, away from our freshly and expensively cleaned carpet. It was late and since I’d been up until two every night for a couple weeks and my foot was killing me because I have developed a case of plantar fasciitis (which is probably one of the worst things ever to have happen to you physically INCLUDING DYING) I was reduced to limping around and dragging my disabled foot behind me. I imagine myself to have looked somewhat like a zombie, with the glazed eyes, the non-functioning limbs, the tired, mindless wandering into and out of rooms because I forgot what I was supposed to be doing. Now that I think of it, in those weeks I was either in this slow-moving zombie-like state or else running around like a crazed squirrel, trying to do a skrillion different things and feeling o overwhelmed by the enormity of the task list that I would run from room to room half-finishing one thing before moving to another, then later coming back to do more work until everything was, not even nearly finished. SO MANY THINGS. But I digress. I was keeping Ducati away from the carpet because he has a habit of throwing up on wherever is most difficult to clean. Carpets, rugs, upholstered dining room chairs, my shoes, etc. He doesn’t like being locked away like a ghoul, but we are all suffering, Ducati. We all have to make sacrifices. I opened the door to get in so I could change some light-bulbs and as I did he CAME AT ME LIKE A WILD ANIMAL and purred and brushed up against my arm, and in the middle of this melee I dropped a fluorescent light-bulb that shattered all over the floor and the new area rug, leaving tiny shards of glass all over. He ran out of the room and Gus, knowing something dangerous had happened and needing to play with his toys in the middle of it, came trotting in. I locked them both out so I could sweep up the mess, because the vacuum was out of bags and the one I have is apparently so RARE that they don’t sell the proper replacements in the store. FANTASTIC. I swept up the shards and sat on the bed for a good cry. Gus was scratching at the door and I called out to him – Please come back later! – because my dog is fully capable of comprehending my complex emotional state. After I gathered myself and invited Ducati to come back to be locked away again, I decided that I couldn’t take another minute of consciousness so I went to sleep. And when I woke up the next morning, feeling fresh and new and full of hope for a better day, I discovered that Ducati had thrown up all over the new rug. ALL OVER THE NEW RUG. I will be honest with you. I considered, in that very moment, whether or not the roughly three-months worth of anti-depressants I had stored away for “just in case” would be enough for me to handle ALL THE FEELINGS I WAS HAVING RIGHT THEN.
While selling the condo is exactly what I’d hoped for, it’s also a really difficult experience for me. This condo is the first place that I ever really considered my home…a place I had made my own and felt a kind of safety and belonging I didn’t ever have anywhere else. In some ways, this condo is also a large reason for my being alive. I know that sounds dramatic, but in the darkest days of my depression, when I couldn’t get out of bed or off the floor, when I couldn’t stop the tears from falling, when I could only tell myself I was the worlds biggest disappointment and failure as a human being, when all I felt was like there was a huge black hole in my chest sucking my life away, when I was hoarding and hiding pills to take and end it all, it was my obligation to Janie and this condo that kept me from letting go. I didn’t want to make things harder for her by leaving before it was sold. It was probably the only rational decision I was capable of making in that moment and so I feel grateful for the burden of this building, of the rooms and halls that housed me in that moment and the years before. Letting go of that is scary both because I’m not sure where I go from here and because the one thing that kept me here in a time when I wanted to badly to leave isn’t going to be there to keep me from doing it again if I ever get back to that place. It’s ridiculous, I know. I’m not in that place anymore and I’m healthier and better able to recognize the signs before I get there. And I know there are other things and people who are aware and savvy enough to keep me from finding that place again, but there is still a certain sadness in letting go of this place. I will miss the walls and the safety it provided for the six years I’ve lived here. I will miss the memories, some more than others, and I will miss how much I loved having a home I owned and how proud I was to invite people into it. Some of my life’s biggest lessons happened here and I will always be grateful for those.
If all goes well, I have to move all my belongings out by April 16h. I don’t have a place to go yet so I’m going to put everything into my car and live on the streets. Gus, Ducati and I are going to form an inter-species gang and if you want to join us there is a rather brutal initiation involving an ostrich, a potato and a lighter. We don’t have an official name yet but we’re thinking about FUCK YOU THIS IS OURS or SHANK YOU. Anyone not involved in our gang is forewarned that the area between my car’s trunk and front bumper belong to US and any breach of our perimeter will be met with cat scratches, dog kisses and hysterical crying. Friends will be treated to the smooth sounds of Celine Dion, a Diet Pepsi from 7-11 and a bag of Skittles. WELCOME TO OUR GANGLAND.