People often complain that moving house is a stressor, a problem to be solved, and a stress to be conquered. I enjoy it because when I was a kid, my mother and I moved so much that it was ingrained into our lives. One adventure after another, from an old house to a new house. New smells, new buildings, new neighbours. I loved the transition. The break from daily life, from reality even. A temporal shift in the way we existed. To have that feeling of weightlessness was spectacular.
My Mum loved it too because it afforded her free time. She was always working, so taking time off to move houses was quite the holiday. Eating fish and chips, we kept Jack Johnson loud while packing boxes. All the doors and windows were wide open, ushering in the wind and light and salt air. Our Beagle, Gatsby, was also well-adjusted to the nomadic life, not much changed for him bar the color of the balcony.
Some of the best memories of my childhood were created on the road, on the move between destinations. In so many ways it was more exciting than the actual settling, which inevitably occurred all too quickly. The adrenaline of motion is supplanted by routine, the mechanics of unpacking entwined with weariness. I adored the leaving and loathed the arriving.
“Honey.” A familiar voice in my head.
“Yes?” I turned to face Olivia.
“You’re always off in dreamland. Put the box in the car will you?” She smiled at me with that gorgeous mouth, puckering those cherry reds, teeth straighter than Russell Brand.
“I was thinking about the last time I moved. Out of home, into that apartment. She’s served me well.”
I eased the box into a small space between belongings. Packing was playing Tetris but for adults. Everything cost money, was easily broken, and you needed insurance. Satisfaction was still guaranteed by ‘winning’ though.
Olivia leaned on the trunk of the car.
“When you said out of home, you forgot to say ‘for the seventh time.’ Your previous attempts at staying independent didn’t really work out. ‘Mum, I’m moving out!’ ‘Mum, I’m moving back in!’ Everything with you is a social experiment.” She laughed heartily.
Stepping between her thighs, I placed my arms around her neck.
“It was the eighth time Sherlock, check your facts, and, how do you know you’re not a social experiment? You could be one of several projects I’m working on right now.” I held my grin stonily.
“Reality check Fabio! If you had a concubine hiding out somewhere, feeding you grapes and validating your manhood on the weekends, then I wouldn’t sleep with a fucking aubergine attached to my perineum all night.”
“You could put that on instagram. Should I tag Aubrey Plaza or Leslie Mann? Maybe you could tweet that to Michelle, I’m sure that would be a great cover quote. The title could scream ‘When deadpan humour & first world problems collide during sex!’
“During? I cum by nine, we’re asleep by ten and yet, your sticky smurf, still blue from exertion, is pushing the petals on my daisy at one minute past. If you were talented I would wake in the morning with an imprint of Jude Law on my arse. But you’re right, I’m sure my boss would love a story about our sex life. It’s just what the magazine needs to stay competitive.”
“I could maybe do Mickey Rourke, but the finer touches will have to be reproduced via hot iron. Happy? Alrighty then.” I played with my best Ace Ventura voice.
Olivia kissed me. “You’re an incorrigible piece of loveable shit. What a beautiful chocolate man.”
“Easy white chocolate, I wouldn’t want you to melt.” I kissed her back.
“We watch that film too much. We’re not watching it for at least a month. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?”
“You know I love Robert Downey Junior. But we’re going to be busy, no time for movies gorgeous.” I squeezed Olivia on the arse and grabbed the last box from the doorway.
“What are we doing?” She quizzed.
I threw the last box in the boot and straightened up, looking directly into the sun.
“We’ve got a stupid baby to make!”
Olivia came up behind me and stuffed her hand down my jeans and bit me on the shoulder.
“Tiny little Quinn’s?”
“So much fucking semen?”
Spinning me around, she took my hands, standing close.
“Mr Rhodes, are you suggesting an end to the social experimentation phase?”
“I am Miss Wilde. I am seeking to move into a consolidated future, one where the experiment no longer exists, to be replaced by a permanent result. The final solution, as it were.”
“Simple language doctor, for the viewers at home unaccustomed to the parlance of social butterflies.”
“Olivia Wilde I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to have a family with you, and grow old. I want to throw food at you when you least expect it. I want to make you breakfast, and see your face in the mirror. I want to leave shitty, passive aggressive notes around the house that frustrate you all day, until you find a romantic haiku proclaiming all the wonderful things you bring to my insipid life. I want to see you every single morning when I open my eyes, and every single night when I’m taking a shit, while you browse IKEA pretending not to look at my penis. You’re fucking unbelievable. You are the reason I even lift.” I smiled at her.
“That’s the most beautiful excuse for a diatribe a guy has ever recited. Yes Quinn, I will carry your demon spawn and be your succubus bride. I love you just a little less than life itself, because without it I wouldn’t be standing here with you, but if it’s all the same, I’d rather not part. I’d like to keep you around at least until I’m seventy. Then I can troll aged care facilities, slaying amnesiac war veterans with PTSD. Until the day either death release me, or bingo and blood pressure pills bind me, will you be my Oreo and hold my cream together with your biscuit?”
“There is no greater occupation on this wholesome earth.”
I kissed her one last time and she hopped into the passenger seat, cranking the stereo. Closing the boot of the car, I lingered on the handle and smiled. I was leaving this life behind to start anew. The excitement and adrenaline was all consuming, as it was when I was a young boy. I had relished the leaving but not the arriving. I disliked the settling, it descended too rapidly. Now I was with the woman I truly cherished. We had the sparkle of youth and the electricity of love between us. We could meander, get side tracked, and take the scenic route. The settling will be there at the end, patient as Gatsby. I am looking forward to that part the most.
Author: Journalism student, radio personality, avid reader, bibliophile, and writer.
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