On Moving: Scarlet Darquea-Mauro

In the spirit of the MOVING SPIN this Friday at KGB Bar, I asked Scarlet if she had a moving story….  She said, of course I have a moving story.

The Grass Is Always Greener

I stood at the cashier counter.  Day in and Day out.  The neon lights flickering and the white linoleum floor reflecting the hideous hue.

“Don’t throw out the newspapers Casey. I need them” I yelled to my manager from the break room of the Vermont-owned drug store I worked at.  I was forced to wear khakis, which I didn’t even own.

Since the new CVS pharmacy had opened down the street, I had idle hours to flip through the classifieds in the back of the New York Times.

“Why you always lookin’ in the back of them paper Miss?” Kasozi asked with a mouthful of rice.  He always ate his lunch sitting on the floor with his limber legs stretched out in front of him and his muscular back leaning against the ugly yellow walls.  His dark-chocolate skin looked strange under the artificial light.

“Because I want to move to New York City.” I retorted.

“Why don’t you use the Craigslist, Miss?”

“Because I can’t use Craigslist while I’m standing at a cash register for 12 hours a day.”

“What bout the nighttime, Miss?”

“Because I have to sleep. I work the morning shift at the Dunkin Donuts down the street 4 days a week.  I already told you that before.”


Kasozi sensed my anger and general malaise.  He went back to eating and humming. Always perfectly content wherever he was at any given moment.  I secretly admired him for that. I was crawling in my own skin.  Perpetually yearning to be where I wasn’t. The grass was always greener.

I said goodbye to Kasozi and Casey and the band of misfits I worked with.  The automated doors opened and the cold bit my face.  I walked down Shelbourne Road, past the CVS, past the Dunkin Donuts I would have to be at in 7 hours, past the campus of the school I dropped out of, to my friend Alex’s house on the other side of the town I had become disillusioned with.  I slept on her futon often. I liked the idea of being anywhere but my apartment.

Alex was the one who planted the big apple seed into my head.  Her and her boyfriend Johnny were moving there once she graduated in the upcoming Spring.  Originally we were all going to get an apartment in Queens, but they decided to move to Long Island.  Long Island sounded like Rhode Island and I had already moved away from there once. There was no fucking way I was going to move to New York and not live in the city.

I got to Alex’s and trashed the newspaper. Kasozi was right.  If I was going to find an apartment I should use the internet…

Within moments of posting a Facebook status I had found a place to live in Manhattan. 138th and Amsterdam.  A sublet from June 1st to September 1st. Within a few months I had packed all my things and moved. Just like that.  I forgot about Kasozi and the pharmacy. I forgot about Dunkin Donuts and my bitter cold walks at 4am.  I forgot about the depths of Lake Champlain and the purple sunsets.  I forgot about Alex’s dimly lit hippie den filled with smoke.

Moving is necessary to me.  I shed the heavy weight of memories, belongings, and people.  I like to start new.  I am more scared of moments passed than what lies ahead.  Every time I move, I learn something.  When I stop learning, I get antsy.  So I put my things in boxes and move again wherever the grass is greener.