In the first hours of the first day of 2017, while I lay snuggled in my bed, dreaming of my imminent move, my new apartment blew up.
Well, a pipe did, technically. In a building with 87 units, mine was the one with a pipe under the kitchen sink that decided to explode shortly after the clock struck 12 and the lease transferred to my name. I discovered this the next morning when I stopped by to drop off a few more valuables, too breakable for the moving truck. The hardwood floors were buckled and creased, and water sat like a wading pool in the hallways of floor 3, floor 2, floor 1, and even the basement.
Like wasps, all the things I suddenly needed to do circled my head: find housing, stop the transfer of my internet and electricity accounts, cancel on the movers, reverse my change of address. It was actually a few hours before I remembered, crap: I had a trip to Antigua scheduled for three days after the relocation, in what I thought would be a glorious drop-your-stuff-and-enjoy-the-move-being-behind-you escape.
Reasonable friends advised me to cancel or at least postpone it. There was so much I had to deal with here, so much uncertainty about where I'd stay now and where I'd move next. I had a potential legal snafu coming up; should I try to get my broker fee and other moving-related charges back? Was this really a good time to jet off to the Caribbean?
The answer, it turned out, was: hell, yes. I ignored everybody and rifled through all of my boxes to piece together a hot-weather-appropriate suitcase (I never did find the red bikini I had in mind or the comfy Vionic flip-flops I typically wear to the beach). Then I locked the door to my chaotic old apartment (my old landlords, mercifully, gave me some wiggle-room on moving out), piled high with yawning boxes and sprinkled with valuables I'd salvaged from the flood. I headed to the airport, and for the first time in a week, I felt the knotted muscles in my abdomen relax.