Stressed and Depressed

Six nights to go.

"What the HELL is happening here?"

"What the HELL is happening here?"

Six more nights in our box-stuffed apartment, with the cat spastically moving from one empty bookcase to another, pulling herself into the bottom cavity. Six more nights to think of all the things I still haven’t seen (Wright’s Robie House) or done (concerts at the Metro, the Riveria, the Aragon; dinner at various vegan-friendly restaurants). Six more nights to stress about what could still go wrong, after several weeks of things-gone-wrong that either turned out OK, or made me shrug and say, “What can you do?”

For the latter: the fucked-up process that was getting a mortgage. It began with me in Italy, so that made Samantha the point person. She had never been through the details before, and to give her credit, she did a good job. Still, she didn’t know all the questions to ask — or didn’t ask the neurotic ones I would have — and she trusted our broker, and once I got back, I stayed out of the process so as not to step on her toes, and didn’t follow my hunches. Bottom line: the broker blew the call (“wait, wait to lock”) and we missed out on what would have been a great rate, though we did end up with a decent one, historically speaking, though this is one time I take little comfort in history. But that one point-or-so spike in early June hurt us, throwing the estimated payments out of whack.

As did the news that our house was not easily insurable; too close to the water, most of the big-name companies said, even though I doubt a killer hurricane has hit West Haven in decades, and it’s not like a storm surge would pour over the other dozen or so streets between us and the Sound. So, the insurance was almost double what I expected. And did I mention the taxes? And that we need work on the garage, and chimney, and have to paint, and…Welcome to your new home.

For the former, the almost snafus: We (ok, I) spent the week worrying we would not get the funds to the lawyer in time for the closing. Tip: when dealing with an internet bank like, say, ING Direct, carefully find out its policies for transfers before you try to send big bucks somewhere. I take part of the blame; again, I ignored a hunch that told me I should have taken care of it last week. So human error and those damn bank policies almost tripped us up. Thankfully, we are on for tomorrow’s blessed event.

The old-time neighborhood movie palace, complete with neon signs and a working Wurlitzer

The old-time neighborhood movie palace, complete with neon signs and a working Wurlitzer

Beaucoup microbrews on tap and a great beer garden in back; plenty of these in Connecticut (haha)

Beaucoup microbrews on tap and a great beer garden in back; plenty of these in Connecticut (haha)

What else is in store these last six nights in Chicago? Lots of thinking about the last time I’ll do this and that, which I may have mentioned before. Already had our last supper at our favorite vegan restaurant. Just one more movie to go at the great neighborhood theatre, and I hope one last beer still awaits at the favorite local pub. One more free concert in Millennium Park, one of the rare rock shows — the Feelies. Weather is supposed to be perfect, and I can’t wait. We’ll skip one last visit to the Taste of Chicago this weekend; once or twice is plenty for that crowded quarter-mile stretch of way-too-much fatty flesh. And then there’s the food, which isn’t so hot either.

Each train ride downtown makes me wistful. I still get excited as we close in on the skyline, as we go over the Chicago River and I look at the streets crossing in parallel, reminding me of the opening shots on the original Bob Newhart show (there’s a statue of him and his couch by Navy Pier). Walking through Lincoln Square and North Center (the featured neighborhoods in this week’s Reader), I still think, “this is home.” Even though it soon won’t be. I can’t imagine ever feeling the same comfort in our little corner of West Haven, even with a raw restaurant (with a less-than-mellifluous name)  within walking distance.

I try to imagine liking life back in Connecticut. Lord knows my friends try to help, telling me how good it will be to see us again. But the visits will be sparse; they have busy lives, we are not that close to most of them. I will not have the daily existence that lets me live, mostly, without a car, take a quick train or bus ride to great free events, walk to my choice of bars with good beers and food we can actually eat. (I have perused the menus of the bars that could be our new local haunts: they have never met a form of animal-based cholesterol they didn’t like. The token vegetarian offerings certainly don’t have vegans in mind. And no one has ever heard of veggie wraps or burger, which are ubiquitous here).

I’ve written before that I had a hunch things could work out OK in West Haven. I wouldn’t call that a lie, but maybe a bit of whistling in the dark. Not much I can do about it now, though. We get the truck on Tuesday, load on Wednesday, reach the new home on Thursday.

Goodbye Chicago.

Six more nights.


~ by mburgan on June 26, 2009.

2 Responses to “Stressed and Depressed”

  1. I hope this move is what Samantha expects, sometimes there is just no going home…and trust me family ain’t all its cracked up to be.

  2. Don’t I know it. Two or three visits a year was just fine with me.

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