Due to jet lag, I didn’t get much sleep Sunday night and so decided to skip the gym Monday morning. Important to ease back into these things. Wouldn’t want to traumatize myself, pack it in altogether, no sir, wouldn’t want to do that.

It was manifestly not good to be back in Baltimore, which at this point I have to take as a good sign. In general, there’s all this work to do, and now only a month to do it. And in particular, how can anyone stand to live here? I’m speaking of the weather. As I walked to work on Monday, shouldering my way through the thick, malarial air, I couldn’t help but think that it was probably about 62 degrees in Flagstaff at that moment, with -15 percent humidity and the scent of pine and juniper in the air. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, it was already in the low nineties, humidity roughly equivalent to the bottom of the ocean, and I didn’t even want to think about what I was smelling. I’d heard on the radio that there was a chance of rain in the afternoon, so I carried my massive golf umbrella back to work, just in case. But even if I were to get caught in a rainstorm without it, would I get any wetter than I got on that walk to work? I faced the Baltimore summertime walker’s dilemma: walk slowly, so as not to get drenched in sweat, or walk quickly, so as to get out of the stinkpit and into the air conditioning as soon as possible? (Quickly, obviously.) By the time I’d gotten to my office, I felt like I’d been dripped in water. I spent a few minutes sitting in my chair, shivering in the air conditioning, before ducking into the bathroom to dry off a little with some paper towels.

Work itself was okay. I put in my official resignation letter – my last day is July 31st – and, as I looked ahead at the calendar, I saw that there is really a very short list of things I can work on, if I’m to follow my boss’s request that I only work on things I can finish before I leave. In a way, this takes the pressure off, and – workwise – it shouldn’t be a bad month at all. Which is good, because – getting-the-house-ready-and-packing-wise – the opposite is true. But if A. can work 17-hour days (on which more later, although not in this post), so can I. (Actually, that should probably read, “if A. can work 17-hour days, I can probably manage at least 11.”)

Another disgusting sweat-drenched walk home, this time with a weather eye out for a gang of marauding youths with baseball bats supposedly terrorizing the neighborhood around my office, according to a hot-pink flyer taped to a phone pole with a headline screaming “ALERT ALERT ALERT.” Zuzu was glad to see me, as always, because I know how to scoop wet cat food onto her plate. She seemed to be hungry: that morning I’d packed up two leftover slices of pizza for lunch but had forgotten to take them with me, leaving them in a ziploc on the counter all day. I picked up the bag to throw them away and noticed that they looked kind of. . . smooshed. Looking closer, I saw little puncture marks in the bag. I wonder how long Zuzu worked on it. All day, and just couldn’t get anywhere? Or had she just started when I walked in the door? “Ah, excellent, he left me a little appetizer to tide me over. . .”

After dinner, I watched the DVD that Upack sent. I was expecting it to be full of packing hints, but these were dispensed with in about two minutes, leaving the rest of the DVD to talk about how great the company is. I took heart, though, when the animated map in a segment about how extensive their network is showed a line traveling across the country from the east coast and stopping almost exactly in Missoula. Seems like a good omen. The DVD also informed me of the specialized moving supplies I could order from the company’s web site, and so I promptly ordered some: a bunch of tape, a couple of special dish-packing sets, some bubble wrap, and a set of those special straps movers use which supposedly “increase your lifting power by 60 percent” but, more importantly, allow you to lift things in a more ergonomically healthy manner.

I packed 5 boxes.

I have nothing much to say about Tuesday, except (1) I made it back to the gym and (2) I walked to work in shorts and a t-shirt, carrying my work clothes in a Trader Joe’s bag.

And I packed 3 boxes.