how single women move around
Does anybody care about how single women move around? Like, does anybody wonder how we carry boxes of our shit from one house to another? They are heavy. The ones that aren’t heavy are awkward shaped. It’s ridiculous. I texted around.
*Hey girl, do you want to come over and help me move? We can pick up a medium sized box together and struggle to bring it up the stairs. I’ll pay you in wine!*
*Hey dude I used to sleep with three years ago whom I’ve avoided for the past three years, do you think you can give me a hand? I just moved into the neighborhood and I need to get these boxes upstairs. No strings attached?*
I asked all my other girlfriends how they get this done. Often when we move, we are moving away from men which means they aren’t the ones helping us.
“I open the box and carry the stuff upstairs in handfuls. It’s a bunch of trips, but what else am I going to do?”
“My mom was in town and she helped me pack. I don’t know what I would’ve done without her.”
Jesus. There really is no system for this, is there?
"Let me know if you need help." came from guy friends arriving a little too late or a little too flirty. Mhmm. No thanks.
“You can do it.” Said a good friend of mine from California.
“It might take a long time, and it will take a lot of energy, but it will be a great work out!”
California people and their workouts. Only my California friends think working out is fun; inviting me to do things like hot yoga or eat wimpy salads that infuriate me on sight. Regular people don’t want to work out Californians. We want to eat runny eggs with ketchup and complain. This is America. Get it together. You’re lucky I don’t put a damn cigarette in my mouth.
The box was here. The big box. The box I was afraid of coming. I need to get it upstairs. Four flights. No elevator. It’s almost as big as me. Long, rectangular. I could easily fit into it. Maybe I should. I pushed it towards the stairs, hoping no one would come out and notice. Lord knows the last thing I’d want to be offered is help. I’d have to say no when I really meant yes. I’d have to be reminded that I look like a very small, very single, woman trying to get a box in her apartment.
All the pressure applied to my pushes were extremely calculated. I didn’t want to push it too hard, or it would wobble, slam on the floor and wake up the whole building. I got it to the bottom stair and laid it on top of the others like a slide. I couldn’t tell if this was the moment I was avoiding or looking forward to. I could feel the box staring at me. It’s large and heavy enough that it felt like it had a conscious. If it could talk, it would, with a smirk and a blunt tone, say “Alex . You are alone.”.
That despite the fabulous meals and interesting parties I get invited too; despite how highly I may be thought of or how many friends are texting me per day; a box in my life doesn’t go up the stairs unless I pay for it with money, sex or my own elbow grease. I wasn’t going to carry this thing. I was going to have to gently flip it. Four flights. There was a tiny part of me that looked forward to it. It was the same part of me that used to move things around the house when I was a little girl. Sometimes when my dad was at work, I would break a sweat rearranging things in the living room like a busy mouse. When christmas came, I’d drag out all the holiday boxes and push things around. I remember that sweat. I remember the drips on my forehead and the heat under my arms. The sweat felt lonely, but also oddly empowering. There’s something strong about no one knowing you’re sweating but you.
I decided to make this box an experience. This box was a symbol of my erm—independence. Yeah, that’s right. I had on some clothes that I wanted to get dirty. I wanted to feel this entire process. I wanted to feel my hands stretched as wide they could get around this sober cardboard. “This is a work out.” I finally convinced myself. This is supposed to be a little painful. It’s supposed to get me to move my muscles. Come on box—make me sweat. And so the flipping began.
Each time it landed on the steps it was loud. Any moment, any one could come out and catch me in the act. Part of me cared. Part of me didn’t give a fuck. So what? I’m carrying my own damn box. That’s right baby. Girl power.Who needs a man when you can feel like a man; when you can sweat like a man; when you can lift like a man. By the second floor, my forehead broke into drips. By the third floor, my clothes were damp. By the fourth floor, I nearly fainted. I wasn’t conscious for the last part of it.
I lost track of what was going on and only regained awareness when I saw the box finally on my apartment floor. I don’t know how, but I got it there. There was a yellow and black sticker on the side that said “TWO PERSON JOB”. What the fuck? Whatever. It’s over now. Now we are alone. You made it up here with me you piece of shit. Now I get to tear you down and enjoy what is inside of you—like a man.