I had finally made it. I was moved in. It took three days. It's not like I had much. A bed, an oak table with a few handcrafted chairs, my computer, clothes, paintings, books, a few kitchen items and just a little stuff.
I was able to put most of it in my SUV - i.e. why it took three days to move, and on one of those days I hired a guy with a small truck to move in the bigger stuff. Very little bigger stuff.
But I was smiling. I had fled Century City and 90something parents, and I didn't care that I had no silverware and no plates, I was ALIVE again emotionally. And every time, I schlepped up another box from my car to my downtown loft, I was one happy woman.
I immediately found the other tenants in the building to be friendly. One after another, they introduced themselves to me. "Hi, I'm Dave, I'm in 510, come up any time." "Hi, I'm in 302," said this perky woman, "Glad to meet you." I was finding that just about everyone introduced themselves by their loft number. I found that funny, endearing, and strange.
Half-way through my move, the elevator stopped working. Now, many months later, I know that is a regular occurrence, but, on that day I had bags of things. One of my neighbors and his girlfriend actually carried everything up four flights of stairs for me - since there was no way I would live and make it - and another neighbor, Mike, wheeled my metal cart (yes, I have one of those) into my loft when I was too exhausted to move. Then he said to me, "No problem, anytime." Wow.
10 hours later - the electricity went out in the building.
It was my first night in the loft and it was midnight. No lights in the hallway. My loft was pitch black. And the elevator still wasn't working. Earlier that day, I had just met my kindly next door neighbor Dan, who had given me his cell phone # and e-mail address in case I needed anything. But...I decided to take my fear and stuff it. I was a downtowner now, and these things happened. I told myself. And I was strong. And...I learned that night if you just ride it out - you can live the downtown lifestyle. Because it takes a certain type - adventurous, a little nuts, and the willingness to believe "this too" shall pass.
The next morning when the lights were on and the elevator was working, I ran into #302, Miss Perky. "Hi, how are you today?" I asked. "Well, I was the one stuck in the parking lot when the power shut off - which meant I couldn't get my car out and I couldn't use the elevator. I'm moving back to the Westside!" she cried and screamed at the same time, while her fluff of a dog barked at me.
"Why?" I asked. "What?" she replied. "I mean, I am a designer, I can't take this - you realize the emergency phone line of the building wasn't working and I was stuck down there!" as she pointed to the garage. "I gave myself six months to test living in downtown and I'm out-of-here. NOW."
I never saw Miss Perky again. She meant what she said. Yep. It takes a certain type to live here - some of us make it, and the others go running back to the Westside.