Movin' On Up: Death by Comic Books

Now they give it to me nice and easy/Since I moved up like George and Weezie

Part 4 (of 3): Mother’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys comic shop managers

Staring at my life as it descends into a yin and yang of neatly stacked boxes and spatters of ephemera still strewn across the ground, I am seized by the thought that life would be a whole lot easier if I just set fire to it all. As the flames would light my face, I would probably smile, because finally, mercifully, it would all be over. And I just want it all to be over.

Two months ago, my roommate decided that we needed to move. Up until October, I had actually planned to move once my lease was up for the year into a place of my own. One last move into a place that I could call my own, that was mine. These well laid plans were scuttled, however, when my car choked and shuddered to a stop for the very last time. Money for a down payment of some sort became “money for a new car”, and with relatively little credit to my name, the banks were just going to laugh in my damn face if I tried to take out a mortgage around the same time I signed up for a loan for the rest of the car.

And so I resigned myself to another year of renting, the light at the tunnel a little further than before. But at least I don’t have to move all of my shit, I thought.

Life, you are a fucking cruel and spiteful bitch.


When he proposed the move, I told the roommate he better have some fucking good reasons for trying to get me to move all of my stuff. And he did. He was going to go to college this coming year and he wanted a place that didn’t require a two hour bus ride to get to campus. Plus, since we moved into our current residence, rental prices had shot down – not to mention the fact that over the course of the two years we had been living there, my cars had been broken into three times, right in front of the house. So I agreed, but with a couple of caveats: that he would take care of all of the searching (because if I thought about the move too much, I would lock down and refuse to leave) and that when we started to move, he would not complain about the amount of books he would have to move. This last one was important, because seriously? I have a lot of shit. If you want to look at it with Juggalo Science, objects are drawn to nerds because of miracles, and that shit is both unexplicable, and unavoidable.

Anyway, flash forward to Monday. That dude’s family drives down with a large van. They take three loads of things and the first contains all of his stuff (DVDs, books, CDs, etc). It takes up maybe a third of this van. The rest of that load? My books. The second trip is similar, though his stuff is replaced with a few of my bookcases. And the third? More of the same. At the end of that day – which was merely phase one of the move – he sits down on a couch, beer in hand and goes, “Fuck. You’re books. So many books.”

“You brought this on yourself,” I reply, sitting on an opposite couch.

Behind me are more boxes. More books.

“I know,” he says, draining half his beer in a gulp.

I’m pretty sure he cried himself to sleep that night.


This week has been hell. I wake up every morning, drive to work, stay past closing (because I just can’t help myself) get home at ten, load my car with as much shit as it can take, drive it down to the new place, return home, and then set to packing more stuff. At two in the morning, my brain finally strokes out and leaves me in a crumpled pile on the ground. I wake up in the morning, and do it all over again.

This routine is punctuated by a few bits of unproductive bouts of relaxation. On Tuesday, in order to pull me back from a stress induced panic attack, I stayed late at work to get things ready for Wednesday, and to inject some comics into my eyeballs – and like all good drugs, it soothed the fire that was threatening to erupt into knife stabs. It allowed me to breathe again, which was nice. On Wednesday, I had burgers with James after the shop closed at a bar. It’s something I shouldn’t have done (STILL MORE STUFF!) but a guy’s gotta eat, and I needed to spend a few hours making terrible jokes with a fellow connoisseur. Then finally, on Thursday, I had a clear night of moving and packing. After finishing dropping off a load of stuff at the new place, I went to work sweeping up the dregs and shoving the more random crap into boxes. This worked pretty well until I remembered – oh right! – I was housing one of my old roommates for the night. He needed a place to stay because half of the town he was living in burned to the ground a couple of weeks ago, and he needed a place to stay before he could return to his old stomping ground (his house was spared by the flames). Anyway, he arrived and we got to talking and drinking. Several alcohols later, I’m stumbling to my room where I pass out amid a scattered mass of shit.

Today, I woke up to the sight of still more things. I hadn’t quite accomplished the amount I wanted to right now, and it’s crunch time. One of my parents is heading to the city to help us finish the move by taking the beds and couches and remaining boxes. I panic a bit, but then stumbled upon my copy of Fred Van Lente’s Taskmaster collection and use Don of the Dead to get back on solid ground.

Tonight I will go home and freak out again. But for now, I’m okay. I’m surrounded by comics, and by like minded people who like rad things. And while my job may have gotten me into this situation, what with all this access to all this stuff, it’s also the thing that’s saving me right now.

Comics, you guys. They’re amazing, and I wouldn’t trade them, or this job for anything.

Next: Either pictures of the unpacking process and the new set-up, or a link to a murder suicide article on the local news site. Stay tuned!

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