Friday, November 13, 2009

Last Exit

A couple of weeks ago, I talked to my landlord in Brooklyn, Big Guy, about moving, and asked him if he knew any movers. He quickly volunteered one of his vans and a couple friends for the job. And so it was that two days ago La Moustache, Big Guy, and a few neighbors loaded my remaining possessions (after being carefully culled through to fit into my new limited quarters) into Big Guy's van. The next morning I hugged a tearful Moustache goodbye for the last time, and Green Bean and I drove off in my little green car.

Big Guy was not available to accompany me to my new city, so he entrusted the job to two of his friends, Corleone and Jesus. I don't know Jesus too well, but Corleone and I go way back; he was the first person to give us a tour of our apartment, he was there for the lease-signing, and he's been a constant presence ever since. I was glad to have him with me on my journey out of New York, and happy to see his face when I stopped for gas midway through the trip and he came knocking on my car door to say hi.

Corleone and Jesus teased me that I drove too slowly, and they also had the benefit of a GPS to prevent them from getting lost in this maze of a city, so by the time I arrived they had been hanging around for a good half hour and had had plenty of time to assess the situation in Boston. At first, they were none too impressed. “Where are the pretty girls at??! There's no one around!” they told me. “You're not gonna last here two months. You'll be back in Brooklyn in no time.” They went on to compare my new neighborhood in Boston to “WAAAAYY out in Queens, or maybe Long Island.” I told them that not too long ago this neighborhood had had a bad reputation, and they responded, “Yeah, it's mad dangerous around here. Like, that guy on the bike is SPEEDING! Crazy! And look, that lady over there is jaywalking. Somebody littered over here! Call the police!”

After unloading my belongings, settling Bean in, and saying a quick hi to the kittens, we headed out to an Irish pub before the boys headed back. It was at the pub that their opinion of Boston began to change, due to the large portions and low prices of the drinks. They were also impressed that it was 5 pm and the bar was pretty full. As Corleone and I downed a few drinks and Jesus rolled a joint, the conversation turned to La Moustache. Corleone and his girlfriend of four years, the mother of his adorable son, split up recently, and I asked him what he did to feel better. He told me that he really didn't feel so bad since their breakup was amicable and they still spend a lot of time together, but it was helpful to “call Tanya, Danielle and Jessica.” He recommended I try the same technique.

I told Corleone and Jesus about the painful last few months, and they initially defended La Moustache. They said every man is afraid to settle down, and after his trip he'll surely come back to me, begging forgiveness. After I told them more of the story, though, they agreed that he had been unfair to me. I briefly considered giving them a few extra $20 bills to slash the tires on the Monster, but decided against it, and instead asked them to give him some dirty looks for me before his departure. They promised they would do so.

We walked out of the bar and headed back to the van, and Jesus lit his cigarette and offered it to me. I took a quick puff and handed it back to him, but he refused it, saying, “Take at least three. You need it.” I followed his instructions and breathed in deeply, enjoying my last taste of Brooklyn.

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