#67 One Peculiar Day Out Of 23,000Posted: October 27, 2013
There is a law of nature that we, making an assumption that I am not alone, all have abnormal days that would be better spent under the covers.
One night I drove back from New York after a few days spent with friends. My mind was filled with stories from the visit. As I left I checked messages at home and there was the voice of someone I hadn’t heard from in years saying he was back in the area. I didn’t even know he and his wife had moved away. I called from the car on my mobile phone, which is not safe or legal in New York. He told me the highlights of his crumbled marriage, court injunctions, wife breaking into homes, wiping out their bank accounts, stealing from friends. He was staying in a tent at a lake for the night so I offered my den couch.
It was late when I arrived back in Pennsylvania and he was there moments later needing to talk. Fatigued, I listened four more hours to the saga. I got out the coffee maker, dusted it off and showed him what he needed in the morning because I had no intention of getting up. Nice. I got into bed, my brain ready to burst.
Sleeping through phone calls, I didn’t wake until noon. And was tired enough to go back to sleep but hungry enough to scrounge in the kitchen. There was evidence that coffee had been made, but I had forgotten to show him where to find filters. I have no idea what sludge he drank to start his day.
I was desperate for food so grabbed crackers, peanut butter and a new jar of blackberry jam, which slipped from my grasp and smashed to the floor in slow motion near my bare feet. Too hungry to do anything about it I retreated to the other side of the kitchen and ate whatever I could reach without walking on glass. Feeling fed, I cleaned up the worst of the damage.
Then I tried to cancel an order I had placed just before my trip. It was some television offer, a miracle cure, and I had buyer’s remorse. When I had given my credit card number and the operator was explaining something to me, the connection was lost. I called back and asked for operator 28 and was told they were all operator 28. Having no idea if the order had gone through, the second operator 28 hung up on me. (I wasn’t as pleasant as I might have been). I called again, getting another kinder gentler operator 28 who was unable to tell me if the order was confirmed. She advised me to call another number.
I did, and that operator 28 said I would have to call another number. All I wanted was written confirmation that no order had been placed. She advised me that if I had difficulty, to ask for a supervisor. I always do. So I dialed that number and was told that the order was stopped because it was on back order anyway. This made no sense since originally I was paying for speedy delivery for the miracle cure. Out came my “let me speak to your supervisor” self. “He’s not available,” I was told. I said, “I’ll wait.” She said that I couldn’t wait. I said, “All I want is to be emailed confirmation that the order had been cancelled.” “They don’t do that,” I was told. “I bet the supervisor is free now,” I said. “No,” I was told. And then I heard someone next to this operator 28 say that they send out post cards to verify if an order was cancelled. This was the best I was going to do. My fatigue was unbearable, so I put in my calendar to check in seven to ten days.
I unpacked my suitcase and realized I had left my travel laundry bag at my host’s house and had to leave a humiliating message that I would send a stamped carton so that she could send me my dirty underwear. Especially humiliating since I’d just written a book on how to be a good host or guest.
It was evening. I hadn’t showered and still hadn’t completely dealt with the mess in the kitchen.
I got an email that two more publishers rejected my book.
There was also a letter that I was in a pool for jury duty, again.
Back to the kitchen. I had wiped up the never tasted blackberry jam. I vacuumed for the thousand slivers of glass, but sucked up a string from the ironing board, which jammed the vacuum and it started to smoke. For the first time in a very long time I got out the mop. Only I had already removed the old sponge. Aha. When I bought it years earlier, I brilliantly bought an extra sponge, apparently assuming I’d be doing a lot more mopping. Even I could attach the new mop sponge. I cut the plastic cover off and attempted to click the mop head onto the holder. There was no click. There were instructions, which yes, I cut through with the scissor. I tried to align the clear plastic bag to read the instructions. I got two plastic clips into place. But that was all. A room full of engineers jamming the sponge onto the mop head in every conceivable direction couldn’t have reconstructed the thing. A friend later told me that she had never been able to replace a mop head in forty years and just buys a new mop. I didn’t know of this conspiracy.
It’s a small kitchen. I dampened the new unattached mop head that’s been waiting to be put into the game for years, and kneeled down in my nightgown to clean the floor. The mop was useless so all I had was a long yellow stick, which is handy for yanking out something dropped behind the refrigerator.
I went back to bed.
There have been plenty of those days out of 23,000. I just happened to write that one down.