the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: moving

One Thing a Day #2 – The Laundry

Boiler Room

Wise men say, “Don’t air your dirty laundry,” so I’m not going to do that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tell you about the clean, but still very wet laundry that was spinning in the dryer in the garage when Sophia and I had our last fight in the house.

“I’ll take the Shuttle to the airport,” I said, grabbing the soggy clothes in mid-rotation and throwing them into my suitcase.

I walked to the laundromat by the post office, wheeling my luggage in like I was entering the marble lobby of the Four Seasons. A homeless man was washing himself in the sink. A grumpy African-American woman was reading Jet magazine; Fantasia was on the cover. I remembered when Sophia and I watched Fantasia win American Idol. How long ago was that? 2004?! Nine years ago!

I opened the suitcase on the cleanest linoleum counter, and tossed the damp clothes into the commercial drier. My brightly colored shorts and t-shirts — direct from summertime in New Zealand — created a colorful kaleidoscope as they spun, but they would do little to keep me warm during the cold gray wintery life of New York City.

In the front pocket of the suitcase was a New Zealand Paua shell that Juli gave me to take home. It was wrapped in a red towel. I carefully peeled the flaps of the flannel towel open, like a onion, or like a woman, to make sure that it was still in one piece.

Sophia called. We talked. We calmed down. She drove me to LAX. At the American Airlines terminal, I gave her my house key. In New Zealand, Juli gave me her house key, and I took it — a promise to return. And here I was, giving my other house key back to Sophia.

It was not the way I imagined leaving the house for the last time, wheeling out my wet clothes in a suitcase.

Farewell, Apartment 202

Sophia and I have finally moved everything out of my in-laws’ Los Angeles apartment, and Sophia closed the lease.   Fanya and Vartan lived in this one-bedroom apartment since 1984.   Sophia was very strong during the whole ordeal, but as we were about to leave the apartment for the last time, Sophia burst into tears because there was such finality to the moment.


From “Our House” by Crosby, Still, Nash and Young

Come to me now
And rest your head for just five minutes
Everything is good
Such a cozy room
The windows are illuminated
By the sunshine through them
Fiery gems for you
Only for you

Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
‘Cause of you

Moving Week


I hate moving!  It is so tedious and time-consuming.  But I’m never too busy to sing in the car as I’m shlepping boxes… 

sung to the tune of ‘The Jeffersons’ theme, “Movin’ On Up”  (listen to the original song)

Well, I’m movin’ on up, to the Westside
To Sophia’s apartment by the beach
Movin’ on up, to the Westside
Her panties are now within reach.

Sophie’s bras in the morning,
Wearing her stockings at night.
How does she wear these stilletos?  Isn’t this teddy too tight?
Wearing her dress on the weekend,
Looking like Barbie, not Ken.
I’m livin’ the high life, just me and her undies,
Until she kicks me out once again!

Well, I’m movin’ on up, to the Westside
To Sophia’s apartment by the beach
Movin’ on up, to the Westside
Her panties are now within reach.


A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  She Exists!

Hail the Returning Hero

Neilochka returning to Redondo Beach with all his worldly possessions.

I’ve played Texas Hold-em a few times now, and I’m surprisingly good at it.  I used to play a lot of cards with my grandmother so I feel comfortable with card games.  I also think I have a good instinct for when to bluff and when to go all in.

It’s a good instinct to have in real life as well.

Today was a good time to make a play.  I decided to move back to Redondo Beach (for now), which is a few miles south of Los Angeles proper, not far from LAX.

I never really liked the “bachelor pad” I’ve been living in since I separated from Sophia.  It’s a sublet with a dirty carpet, tiny kitchen, and unfriendly neighbors.  So, today I’m starting to move out — back to Sophia’s place. 

Don’t get too excited. 

I’m only staying here for the two months that she is gone.  We decided it is a waste of money to pay two rents (and besides, Sophia wants me to water her plants and tape “All My Children” for her).

For the future — let’s see what the cards have to say in a few weeks. 

But for now, as they like to say in my part of the town, surf’s up!

Now, here’s a gratuitous shot of women in bikinis who, if they wanted to, can easily beat the shit out of me.  (As if you really believe that I would sit out in the hot sun to watch a volleyball game on a crowded beach, even if they do include women in bikinis.  That’s why they invented TV).



A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Full of Emoticons

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