For the last few weeks, we've been moving Nola's studio from the office downtown she's been in for lo these many, many years, to our apartment. Our not-very-large-at-all apartment. It's a lot like acquiring an invisible roommate, albeit one who doesn't keep strange hours or invite even stranger people to breakfast. But in the area of Number of Boxes Stacked in the Hallway, it's a really close match.
My feet hurt, as do my ankles, my lower back, my neck, and other bits that remain nameless only because I have no idea what they're called, never have, but they hurt. And I haven't even been doing anything like as much work and worry as Nola has, so you can imagine how she feels. At the moment, she's not-asleep on the sofa, which is where she's been every evening she's not been teaching or grading projects for about a month now. She's been packing and carrying and unpacking until she can't stand upright, then ho! for the sofa.*
What, you may be wondering, your eyebrows raised in silent condemnation, is pericat doing to smooth and assist and generally be the helpmeet she swore to be not so very long ago? Okay, well, um, not a lot. On the other hand, as much as I'm allowed to do. But see, right now I could be silently padding 'round the kitchen, putting together tasty nibblies in lieu of a cooked meal, and instead I'm fooling around with my weblog. What it comes down to is, there's only so much thoughtfulness and so forth any person can expend in a day, and truly selfish and blinkered individuals such as myself pretty much hit their limits when they make a second pot of coffee of a morning.
But I have been semi-useful. I do what I'm told, mostly. Tote that barge and lift that veil, and all like that there. And I've converted us from "ethernet cable strung like Shelob's web" to wireless, which I think is a wonder, and integrates her big Mac (that's hooked up to printers and scanners and extra hard drives) seamlessly with her laptop. And lets me chat her up when she's in the back room, via iChat/Rendezvous.
Today we had the movers come by and do the penultimate shifting of the studio to here (and downstairs storage). We'd moved the big Mac, and a good desk, and several bookshelves already. Nola'd set up my small drafting table with a Borco surface (my god, that stuff's nice. She asked my permission first, as if there was any possible downside, as if the reason it wasn't Borco'd already had to do with personal principles instead of available funds. She's sweet that way.) and moved it to catch the best light going from the window... her new office (our spare bedroom, sans bed) was pretty well laid out, and I'd seen to setting up the Mac with all its peripherals, so no down time on that score. So today's move was a matter of bringing over all the Stuff that supports her as an established business of some twenty-plus years' operation.
I did try to help. I pointed out that there was no way in hell I'd stand for her shelving twenty years' worth of architectural digests, as well as the same number of National or Canadian Geographics, the place would be dangerously close to becoming one of those garbage houses TNH has spotlighted. I even offered to burn them for her, when the local libraries declined to take responsibility. My selfless attitude netted me naught more than abuse, and for all I know they're still with us. If so, though, they're downstairs, and not likely to topple over on me and trap me between rooms, unable to call out, while Nola slowly starves (or gradually forgets my name, until one nightclubbing evening she meets someone whose vivacity and charm and hem-hems convinces her to chuck it all and move to Atlin, there to win everlasting fame and maybe a Nobel chronicling the life and times of yet another Goat Island, and in the course of disposing of her unwanted belongings some hapless auctioneer's apprentice uncovers my kitty-nibbled remains).
Hm. Maybe I should try to be a bit more helpful, at that.
But here's one great thing: for weeks and weeks, Nola's been occupied night and day with work or lecturing or evaluating/grading, so that meals have been prepped for on-the-dot serving (or not happened at all), and simple conversations have been scheduled for when we were both free. Somehow we've managed to not only remember each other's names, but to get married. But the great thing, the thing that makes all of this uproar worthwhile to me, is that Nola will now be working from home, same as me, most every day. Now I can see her whenever I want to.
* This is the very sofa abear gave us. Thank you, abear!