Tuesday, January 19, 2016
It happened early this evening, after dark - completely unexpectedly. No, it wasn't an angel. But it certainly was one helluva surprise.
I was never in favor of getting to the point easily. Good writing - much like good sex - needs sufficient foreplay before the climax. I'll drive you there, but I'm gonna take the long route. Take a deep breath and fasten your seat belts.
Let's first describe my day:
A bitterly cold, yawning, miserable day.
The temperature is desperately trying to hit 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) but never makes its mark. Everything outside is frozen. I am drifting in an icy, lethargic limbo. Too cold to think. Too tired to care.
The temp dropped to 2 degrees last night. That's Two - like in "Duo". I stayed up all night, babysitting the water pipes. Making sure they didn't freeze. Long, frigid, lonely hours. I made pancakes to pass the time. And a couple cups of hot tea.
By dawn, I have lots of other things to do. Sleep is not yet an option. Just after noon I finally collapse into bed for a few hours, accompanied by Bosco the cat, who keeps stealthily stealing the covers.
I'm gonna radically change the subject now, only because it's imperative to my story. Trust me. I always know what I'm doing.
A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine in California decided to send me a gift. It was something I can use during the cold winter months (let your imaginations go rampant). She ordered the gift from a catalog and had it shipped to me.
Of course, the package never arrived. I'm here in the wilderness among wolves and heathens. Adequate deliveries via UPS are unheard of. Hell, UPS is unheard of.
The catalog company was informed of the non-delivery and a new package was immediately sent. Against all odds, it was miraculously delivered - kinda like a virgin birth. I received it last week.
So, what about the Visitation?
Hang on to your wigs and girdles. I'm getting there.
So. Let's get back to today.
After my afternoon nap with Bosco. I made a quick dinner (fish and chips, if you really want to know).
Just as it is getting dark, I decide to take a shower and wash my hair. Heavy snow is expected late tonight. I want to look my best in case I freeze to death and am photographed by the press for the Morning Edition.
Before I hit the showers, I let my cat Scratch outside. She's extremely demanding and doesn't mind the cold.
As I'm stepping out of the shower I suddenly remember that Scratch is outside. Despite her appreciation of the cold, she's been out twenty minutes and might very well have turned into a feline popsicle.
With a towel around my waist, I open the back door. The Arctic blast that hits me has the power of an avalanche.
No cat in sight, and it's now pitch black.
"Scratch, where the hell are you?" I yell so loud that my voice echoes through the forest.
At that very moment, someone or something is pounding at my front door.
Holy shit, it couldn't be the cat, could it?
I live in the proverbial middle of nowhere. In a forest. Access to the damn place is nearly impossible without sleds and teams of huskies. It's pitch black outside and now 10 degrees. I never get visitors. Even on a good day.
I drop the towel, hastily pull on a pair of jeans and half a flannel shirt (I only had one arm in one sleeve). My hair is dripping wet. I stumble to the front door and open it.
It's a guy from UPS. Young and cute - but that's beside the point. His truck is far away. He actually hiked to my house.
"I'm here to pick up the package," he informs me.
What the frick?
I'm not sure what's more embarrassing: my ignorance over what he's talking about, or my appalling - dripping and completely disheveled - appearance.
"The first package that was delivered on January 4th," he explains.
I make a feeble attempt to gather my wits and explain that the first package never arrived. I only have the second package - and I won't surrender that one without a fight. Or at least a heroic scuffle.
I explain the situation and he accepts it.
We part on amicable terms.
I genuinely feel sorry for the guy - having to find my place after dark, and having to hike in frigid temperatures to get to my door.
Kudos to cute and courageous UPS couriers.
I also feel sorry for me - having to make an appearance before a stranger when I'm soaking wet and half dressed. This has never happened before. Well, not when I was sober, anyway.
I feel sorry for my cat Scratch, who looked like a paltry imitation of a polar bear when she finally came in.
I should also feel sorry for the kind and patient people who took the time to read this excruciatingly long tale, but I don't. Hell, it was free entertainment.
And - since it was told by me - it was damn good entertainment.
Hey, Jon - you're full of yourself.