Alec was moving. It would be an easy move, because Alec did not own that much stuff.
The movers arrived at 8 AM. “As you can see,” Alec told them, “this move will be easy on all of us due to the fact that I do not own very many items.”
“Are they boxed?” asked one of the movers.
“No, there is no need for that,” explained Alec. “I only own this furniture here, and very few other things.”
Alec walked them through the house. “Here’s the kitchen,” said Alec, “with just a couple of pots, pans, cups and that kind of thing.”
“Can you open that drawer,” inquired a mover, “so that we can see if it’s too heavy to lift?”
Alec opened the drawer. “Oh dear,” said Alec. “No, you know what, this isn’t too bad. Just a couple of forks, a few corkscrews, this thing with the wire, and some utensils.”
The movers looked at each other. None of them looked at Alec.
Alec led them into the office. “This is the office,” said Alec. “See, it’s just a desk and a desk chair, and those books.”
“Why didn’t you put the books in boxes?” asked a mover.
“Because there’s like twelve,” said Alec. “See, just these books here. Just twelve or so.”
“That looks more like fifty,” said the mover.
“No,” said Alec. “We’ll deal with it as we go along.”
“What’s this?” the mover asked. “This is like a terrarium filled with ceramics?”
“Yes,” confirmed Alec, “I will take that over in my car.”
“What kind of car do you have?”
“A Miniature Cooper,” responded Alec. “No sweat, though, it’s just the terrarium.”
“Is that a globe made of glass?” The mover picked up a globe made of glass.
“Yeah,” said Alec, “I will also take that in my Miniature Cooper.”
“Is this a dollhouse from the fourteenth century?”
“Oh, I forgot about my heirlooms,” said Alec. “Shit, yeah. It’s from 1362. Totally zoned on it.”
“Look at these pictures in crystal frames,” said one mover to another. “Hoo boy.”
“Do you like them?” asked Alec. “I have four hundred others in the garage.”
“No,” said two of the movers in unison while the third mover took a Motrin.
“Here,” said Alec, “come with me into the bedroom.”
The movers followed Alec into the bedroom.
“Here is my bed,” said Alec. “It’s a California King. It will be simple to move, because it does not come apart in any way. It’s one piece.”
“How did you get this in here?” asked a mover.
“It came with the house,” responded Alec. “And here is my closet, which as you can see is modest. These are my tuxedos. They’re fragile because they are made of crepe paper. And here are my shoes. The shoes really are the thing. I have a lot of shoes.” Alec pushed the back wall of the closet, which opened into another closet. He pushed the back wall of that closet, which turned into a third closet. He pushed the back wall of the third closet, which folded out into a large patio with disco lighting on which giant motorized shoes danced. “You’ll have to use care on the outdoor shoes, as their inner electronics are very fragile.”
One of the movers threw up into the hands of another mover.
“Come with me,” said Alec, “while I guide you into the bathroom.”
Alec showed them the bathroom. “Just some cosmetics,” said Alec. “Ha, I don’t call them that, but maybe I should, because as you can see they’re all stored in giant Waterford crystal vessels.”
“Will you be driving these over in your car too?” asked a mover.
“I can’t fit them, I don’t think. I am also driving over my tiger in his carrying case. And the globe and terrarium. And my dining room table, if it fits. I’ve started dislodging the bathtub, as you can see — ” Alec pointed to a chip in the grout “— but I ran out of time so we’ll just finish that up as a team.”
“You can’t move the bathtub,” said a mover.
“You’re movers,” said Alec. “And I have a tiny sledgehammer, but it’s very delicate owing to the fact that I made it myself out of paperclips. Whatever, though, you know, we have until noon.”
One of the movers had disappeared to smoke on the back of the truck. The other two movers were very angry, Alec noticed.
“You seem angry with me,” said Alec. “Surely you’ve seen worse than this. I was up very late last night taking inventory of my belongings for you. I made a graph.” Alec produced a graph. “See, this lays out the whole day. First we put the things on the truck, then we work on the bathtub together, then we drive over and reassemble everything and put the doodads away and then we’re done by…” Alec consulted his graph. “…By eleven forty-five at the latest.”
One of the movers took the graph. It was a wavy line.
“It’s crude,” said Alec. “But it works.”
The movers crouched by the floor of the bathtub and started to chip away at the grout.
“I have to lie down,” said Alec, “moving is emotionally taxing, like death or divorce.”
Alec lay down on his large bed and stared up at the chandelier.
“Guys,” said Alec from the bed, “I forgot to mention the chandeliers.”
Alec woke up the next day in his old place. The bathtub was gone. So was his tiger.