No Moss on this Rolling Stone

Originally posted on June 16, 2005.

No moss on this rolling stone

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a family friend who has helped me move on numerous occasions. That got me thinking… exactly how many times have I moved? Not counting all the times I’ve helped friends move…

My first move was when I was about a year old, so that hardly counts. That was just from one house in Baltimore, to another.

My second move was when I was around 3-ish, from the Southway house to Florida. But here’s the “splitting hairs” question… do I count it as one long six-month move? Or do I count it as two, as in “we moved from Baltimore into a pink schoolbus, and then from the schoolbus into a house in Largo”…? Lets just call it one move. I’m sure the numbers are going to pretty high as it is.

The third move was after my parents got divorced, when I was maybe just past 4? 5? I moved from living with my mother in Largo to with my father and his friends in Bayport.

The fourth move was about two and a half years later; from the cracker house in Bayport to a mobile home in New Port Richey. Hey, we really knew how to live, I tell ya!

The fifth move, the summer before I turned 10, brought us to Gainesville, a place from which I’ve tried to leave and keep getting pulled back. Our first house in Gainesville was a rental on 4th Avenue, right around the corner from J.J. Finley.

Next year we moved again, to a house not even a block away. It was right around the corner on 20th.

The seventh move was the summer between sixth and seventh grade. Dad and The Stepmonster™ took a break from each other. Dad and I moved to Ormond Beach, where we lived a few minutes away from Uncle Joe, and right next door to old family friends Bill and Doris, who’d recently moved back up from Key West.

Six months later, around Christmas, we moved back to Gainesville, into the same house on 20th.

Move number nine was a year and a half later, 1983… the summer before I turned fourteen (did I do that math right? Born in October 1969…). That was my least favorite move. That’s the one where The Stepmonster™ came home on Friday and told me to pack everything I owned because we were moving the next Monday—everything I didn’t pack was getting left behind and good luck finding boxes. Nice notice. Bitch. We were moving out to the southwest corner of the county, where they’d purchased a 40-acre farm near Watermelon Pond. Dad had to sell the property when they got divorced in early 1994.

I only lived there, at first, for three years. I got (little known Lorena trivia alert!) accepted at the Florida School of the Arts, or as we called it, “Florida School of the Art Fags” or just “Flo-Arts” (motto: We thought it would be like Fame; it was more like Deliverance.) Thus began a slew of moves brought to yours truly by the Dad-and-his-good-friend-Bill Show (motto: We don’t move things that start with the letter “P”—no pool tables, no printing presses, and no pedastals!). They loaded me up and moved me to Palatka

During the two years I lived there, I moved three times. I moved there. Then I moved home for summer but left everything in storage—but won’t count that. We will count when I moved back and into a new apartment with a friend (whoo, boy-howdy, housemates should be a whole ‘nuther post!) who turned out to not be a good roommate… three months into that lease I got out of it and moved into a one-bedroom in the same complex.

The spring of 1988 brought me to my thirteenth and fourteenth moves. I was almost nineteen years old. Dad and Bill moved me back to Gainesville into a small apartment with a short-term summer lease. Right before fall semester they moved me again. I lived in that apartment with a roommate for a year, and at the end of the lease dad and Bill moved me again (number fifteen, for anyone still trying to count).

At the end of that lease, came The Big Virgina Move (#16). Not only did Bill and Dad move me, but Bill’s wife, Doris, helped. And so did Quinn and our friends Michael and Jeffrey. I lived in Northern Virginia with Quinn for not quite a year, coming back to Gainesville with Dad and Bill having come up to help me. This time, move #17, we rented a U-haul rather than try it all in trucks. That brought me back out to my dad’s farm in the early summer of 1991.

Late summer of the same year I had move #18, which was into a house in the student Ghetto that Bill and Doris had lived in until they got a place out on the Suwannee River. I lived there with a roommate for a year, and then had move #19 into a lovely apartment wherein I was broken into three times in three months. Needless to say, move #20 was a quick one (thanks again to dad and Bill) out to another apartment owned by the same slumlord. I lived there for nine months, until the end of my lease. After that, Bill and dad moved me for the last time, back out to the farm to be with my dad. I lived there until… uh… some time in 1994, when my then-fiancé and I moved back into town (#22, and we paid for movers) into a tiny cramped upper floor of a house in which my friend Pat and his wife Sandy had recently lived. It was funny; the first time I went over there, I said I thought I’d been to a party there before. I had, because my friend John Marron had lived in the house next door. Every time someone new came to visit, the first thing they said was “I think I’ve been to a party here before!” If you’re an old Gainesvillian, it was on NW 4th Ave, between 12th and 11th. The first two-story yellow house if you turn on from 12th. Yeah. I thought you’d been there.

Let’s see… where was I… ah! That brings me to the last move. Number 23, into the house I currently own. Also done with movers. What, you say? I haven’t moved since 1995? What’s the matter with me?! Well… I kind of think that 23 moves in the first 25 years of my life is really… enough for quite a while.

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