Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Keep On Truckin




Renting a twenty-four-foot box mounted on a two-axle truck is always more than one bargains for, but even more so in a city where myriad obstacles to productivity, safety, and security are enshrined into law. 

Simple questions like "where can I park this truck?," are met with simple answers like "nowhere, if by 'where' you mean a street."

The truck depot tells me that thieves, the clever ones, know if a truck is empty or full by the look of the tires. I admire anyone who is good at what they do, I simply wish they could put that effort into something not quite as disruptive as stealing all our belongings while the truck is parked illegally on a deserted commercial street from 9pm till 5 am. 

I don't think any of us are aware of how many overpasses there are in NYC that are too low to accommodate a 13-foot tall truck. Twelve-foot, eleven-inches is common enough, but thirteen -that's a nasty number, so nope, not doing it. Do you know the anxiety of approaching an unlabeled overpass? NYC happens to produce a map highlighting all the probable impacts, and would you be surprised to hear that some appear (although the map is poor enough in detail that one cannot be sure) to be on highways like the BQE?  

We've all experienced how difficult leaving NYC can be, even if only for the weekend in a rental car. This is like that, except loading the car takes three days, you can't park it on the street, people are always beeping at you, you just might run over a pedestrian or drag a parked car 20 feet if you're not careful, and you never really know if you're going to crash into a bridge. 

I do not envy truckers, but they probably have sweeter rides. My truck, a GMC with 160,000 miles to it, rides like a pogo stick, has a slippery bench seat and the floor has a shiny, sticky residue harboring crumbs from someone's last long distance dinner. There's a Wendy's straw deep on the dashboard. The thing rattles so much, the objects in mirror are experiencing a 9.2 earthquake. 

It's not all bad. I'll miss the once in a blue collared moon favor called in by my father. In the past that might have looked like a climb up a power plant smokestack to get a needed photo. Today it looked like buying donuts and coffee for a guy named Charlie (who refused a good tip) so that I can park the truck in his company's lot over night. I'll be there tomorrow at 7am sharp, after a bus ride and 18 block walk, to get it outta there. If I'm lucky, he'll agree to my pushin' it by asking if I can leave it there once again tomorrow afternoon, loaded with my apartment things, until 7am sharp, Friday morning. 

Then I can pack the truck full of vastly more studio belongings in anticipation of one night of illegal street parking on a deserted industrial block, all set then to leave Saturday morning, driving headlong into a snowstorm beginning in Pennsylvania and getting nasty by Ohio. 

3 comments:

  1. From someone who has many moving adventures in various sizes of rental trucks, I wish you happy trails without potholes! Can't wait to hear about your new home ... sounds beautiful.

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  2. That sounds like a plan for disaster! Well, at least hassle, but by planning for some many things, hopefully you will not have many other things go wrong. Will miss your NYC blog, but hope that it will pop up soon as a commentary on life in the mid-west.

    Hope all goes well and that the drive will not be too awful! Good luck.

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  3. Bon Voyage, Frank. Hope you can keep us posted along the way.

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