Today, I saw my first bird light upon the long deserted bird feeder that has been hanging, hopeful, from the side of the garage for more than a month. It was a chickadee and its little trill of familiar, cheerful notes delighted me. It seemed a good omen.
But, how misleading the little bird was. I had an unabashedly awful day and now I am going to rant about it and then I will go upstairs and make myself salmon for dinner.
First of all, today I sat down to sort through the bills. I should have known not to do this.
Credit Card Service Representative: "Is the primary card holder available?"
Me: "No. No, he's not. As I have been telling you people for the past two months, he's in Iraq. He is not available to come to the phone."
Credit Card Service Representative: "Can I put you on hold?"
Me: "Sure, let me just pull out my handy dandy pocket edition Suduko so I can while away a half an hour of my time while you check my credentials."
Credit Card Service Representative: "I'm sorry, Ms. Indiana, but we haven't received those deployment orders and I cannot tell you what the balance on the account is. You are not an authorized user."
Me: "I have given you hundred and hundreds of my husband's hard earned dollars, I have faxed his deployment orders to you two weeks ago and you cannot tell me the balance, or why there is now a six hundred dollar late fee on the account?"
Credit Card Service Representative: "Can I put you on hold for a moment?"
Me: "Yes. Please do. I do so enjoy the background music."
Credit Card Service Representative: "I am going to transfer you to the Attentions Department. One moment."
Me: "Yay! The Attentions Department! Now, that sounds promising! And yes, I look forward to being on hold while connected to a whole other department."
Another Credit Card Customer Service Representative: ""Yes, Ms. Indiana, we have received the deployment orders, but it has yet to show up on the statement and your payment has been processed, so there will be no late fee."
Me: "Thank god! I remain, however, somewhat confused that, despite all the advances in communicative technology, how the Attentions Department has still not yet communicated to the Billing Department that you received a fax and payment two weeks ago. Maybe you should try communicating it to them via Morse Code."
Exceedingly aggravated by this, somewhat exaggerated account of the exchange, (how about that for a choice selection of vocabulary, huh?) I called the husband in question and woke him from what little sleep he gets. Anguished by this accident of timing (I never know when he sleeps) and harried by static, we could not communicate well. It went somewhat like this:
Me: "Sweetie...?" (Leaning far forward over the edge of the table and squinting, as though this would somehow help)
Me: "Did I wake you up?" (Horrified)
Me: "I was going through the bills to decide which to pay on..." (In one huge rush, hoping he would get all that and then waiting, for him to respond)
Husband: "Spit it out!" (Sounding anxious and cross in that one moment of reception clarity)
I won't go through the whole thing, you get the idea. The call dropped very shortly after that.
Today, I had wanted to rake the leaves. This entails going into the garage after the rake. Going into the garage means going into my husband's side of the closet for the lock box and being confronted by his shirts. I girded up my loins and opened the closet doors.
Immediate side track from the business at hand, as my eye fell upon his rust striped polo shirt. This was clutched to my breast and breathed in deeply. (Does that make sense? You get the general idea, I'm sure.) Dear god, there was his white cotton shirt with the blue stripes, the sleeves still rolled up. This also was clutched up.
Unavoidable memory of dinner at The Red Lobster, him in said shirt, wearing black cap, closely shaved (for once) and wearing cologne. Him asking me to order for him because he was afraid of mispronouncing the Italian. Him standing, (while I put my feet back into my heels) after dinner, and looking so incredibly tall, and large, and masculine and knowing he was mine, all mine, all the way through.
Moving on...to the next shirt!
At least ten minutes and a hundred memories later, I got to the lock box. By this time, I was wearing one of his shirts, which fluttered around me like a tent. This was not enough torture: I then sprayed his cologne on the shirt as well. Trailing shirt and scent, I took the key in hand and cracked open the dusty door to complete nostalgia, laid over liberally with cobwebs.
There before me were all the sheeted vehicles laid to rest. The thin, plastic covering lifted in the eddies of air as I passed by. Underneath lay the gleaming black steel of the HD.
"Hello Girl," I murmured sadly, brushing my fingertips along the side. I searched everywhere and could not find the rake.
"Where's ur rake?" I text to my husband. I got no reply; he must still be sleeping.
(Dear god, did I just wake him up again? Recalled conversation from day before:
Me: "When do you sleep?"
Husband in heavy, slow voice as though speaking to someone deaf: "Hunny bunny, I love you. You can call me anytime.")
How could everything be so well organized, and yet I still couldn't find such an obvious thing as a rake? There were his CDs, coated thickly in dust, his gloves, shelves of oils and unguents, straps on hooks, hunting jackets still caked with dirt, clamps neatly lined up on the counter. He must have lent it out to someone, like the clippers.
Ah, there lay the spill of beer from when he lifted me in his arms from the back of the HD. How often I would lift my arms to him, not having to say a word? How often he would immediately leave whatever he was doing and come and lift me down so gently, put me on my tip toes on the concrete floor.
How proud he was of that floor, spangled and sealed. How horrified he would be to know the entire inside was now criss crossed with fine cobwebs. I went out into the bright sunshine and shut the door, pulling tightly with both hands against the weather sealing he had put down the day before he left.
I went off to the library; I would get a movie, that would help. And, in the parking lot of the library, there was a black, Chevy Silverado, lifted, with a diamond plated tool box against the double cab. And the library was closed. I was on the phone with my father, into whose ear I was just then pouring the angst of the moment.
"There is a person driving Keith's truck, right now, in the parking lot. How can they be that heartless? Can't all Chevy drivers, out of respect, simply park their trucks for a year? I mean, is that too much to ask? How can they just drive around shamelessly like that? Don't they know this is my library?"
And so I got nothing, absolutely nothing, done today. Nothing raked. Nothing cleaned. Nothing paid off. And, of course in the mail, did I get one of the three letters which Keith mailed to me weeks and weeks ago? No. No, of course not. Instead, I got the bill for the Home Depot card.
Home Depot Credit Card Service Representative: "Is the card holder available to speak with, please?"
Where's his whiskey, damn it? I'm wearing his cologne, I'm listening to George Strait; I might as well be drinking a highball.
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