Until today, I felt I had escaped my previous life, but now, with all these items here, I feel trapped. I feel that my past has found me once again, that I’ve not escaped at all. There’s something to be said for walking out of an undesirable life with just the clothes on one’s back. Sitting here in this beautiful spacious flat — the most beautiful place I’ve ever lived — hemmed in by 100 boxes of books, clothes, books, parrot cages and toys, and yet more books, I wish I’d just walked out and boarded the plane, carrying nothing at all.
With my luck, if I’d done that, I would have been pulled out of the security line at the airport and pushed into one of those “special rooms” to be strip-searched by five men.
Already by late last week, I had a few hints that the arrival of my possessions would awaken unpleasant memories. For example, I finally received the bill for my relocation expenses on Thursday.
It turns out that the price quote to move my possessions from NYC to Frankurt am Main was incorrect: I ended up being billed for nearly twice the quoted price. I thought I would have a stroke when I saw the that cost, since it is nearly the same sum as one year of rent for my rent-stabilized NYC apartment! (And some people wondered why I didn’t “just move” because I was chronically unemployed.)
To add insult to injury, I am being told that I will owe additional hundreds, or perhaps as much as a thousand dollars more. Why? I have no idea.
To celebrate that astonishing cost, I promptly developed a migraine that kept me hidden away in a darkened bedroom for the afternoon and evening, worrying, worrying, worrying about money, obsessing about my still plummeting credit rating, worrying about money; upset that I was unable to work on my writing, frustrated by my lack of German, and frustrated because I forgot all of my prescription (effective) analgesics in my NYC apartment.
No doubt, those desperately-needed pain relievers were sold on the street by a drug dealer.
And, as if that ballooning relocation expense wasn’t shocking enough, I put the entire cost of relocation on my VISA card. Mysteriously, my paper VISA bill arrived three days after the bill was due, and my electronic VISA bill inexplicably never arrived at all. I paid the bill (electronically) as soon as I received it, but it was still three days late, so I was billed by VISA for an additional $100 in late fees and interest. This late payment now appears on my otherwise spotless on-time payment-in-full record that extends back to when I first got this credit card when I was a teen. So my once-golden credit rating (already destroyed by non-payment of two medical bills) is now likely submerged somewhere in the negative digits. It’s a good thing I am no longer job hunting in the US: “failing” a credit check is sufficient to keep a well-qualified candidate from being hired for any job that uses credit checks as a pre-hiring screening tool. I know this to be true based on several experiences.
To say the least, all this is a very ugly reminder of the stressful existence that I just escaped after five-and-a-half years of struggle. And today, I find myself nearly overwhelmed with depression. I just want to curl up under the covers and cry.