It’s been one of those weeks and it started off bad . . .
My dad is in the VA hospital awaiting a bed in the VA Nursing Home. My mom is about to go crazy. She stresses herself out by calling them every day (not just once, but four, eleven times!) – and letting them put her thru’ the hoops. Having her go around and look at every nursing home in the area. She’s scared to death they’ll return him home. They did it for medical reasons . . .
Not his – hers. Her blood pressure is up beyond crazy. “The woman should be dead,” said one of the doctors.
But things can always get worse . . .
Tuesday a guy ripped the shifter off my transmission – strong arming it, stripping 4 bolts, and shearing one. Literally ripped the top of the transmission off. Cost over $200 and a little bit of welding . . . AND I was out of a car for a few days . . . my Mustang, my convertible, the one my wife feels so sexy in, and she wants it on vacation which occurs soon . . .
and my library books are overdue . . .
But things can always get worse.
Wednesday I get a knock on the door at 6 am in the morning. It’s an old friend of mine. In the front yard his wreck of a car is steaming, and he’s really poor. Plus he relies on my mechanic knowledge; everyone does. I used to be a top-notch Advanced Master Mechanic with several certificates, and one degree. I have an instinct for the stuff. My hands mind & eyes know what they are doing when it comes to diagnosing a machine . . .
It’s the radiator. Not a big problem. We get it out – he’s got the $150 – and I’ve borrowed my old dad’s car. (Both of them are old: car and dad. But only one is in the hospital.) He won’t need it – he’s gone of to the VA and won’t get out of it until he’s in a box . . .
We drop a bolt and spend an hour and a half looking because my friend tipped over the parts bucket . . . it’s lost somewhere in the yard. As we’re working my friend notices some blood.
“Hey! You’re bleeding, man!”
I look. It’s just my thumb. Stabbed it on something. Leaking some blood. I’m used to it. Seems I’m always getting hurt. (Percocet can do that to you: you don’t feel it like normal, and I’m used to pain due to my disability, plus I have a high pain tolerance from my abusive childhood & army / military training . . . add it up. A minor wound is nothing but a mosquito scratch to me . . . sighing).
“I’m leaking,” I say and go back to work. Eventually my thumb will stop bleeding . . .
But things can always get worse . . .
As we’re working the trash men come and tear up my fence (chain link, top rail, everything) by using a 4-in-1 bucket on a pile of limbs I put there. Old damage by the ice storm that hit last Feburary, along with the yard fire we had (and yes, things can always get worse).
During the test drive (to City Hall) City Hall & I get into it . . .
on to the shop to pick up my car (they called during all of this stuff).
I get home and the City maintenance man acts stupid, tries to deny what they did, so I call upon my witness – my friend with the car (now fixed, though it’s 3 hours later – 2 hours longer than normal due to the bolt incident and test drive).
“We use heavy equipment,” he explains in a thick Jamaican accent. “You should not pile branches near the fence!” (but there’s no frontage).
I held up my hands.
“That’s what these are for!”, I said. “Why didn’t you get off the machine? You could have gotten those near the fence by hand, used some care! Remember who pays your paycheck.” (for I pay city taxes. And they’ve used their hands before. As a matter of fact usually it’s just two guys with a dump trunk . . .)
He continues to make it out as my fault. I get disgusted.
This City has cost me over $8000 in the last 6 or 7 years in property damage . . . have even challenged me to sue them (off the record of course) and admitted their fault (during a Commission meeting, of course – but it was struck off the record . . .)
But they fixed the fence. I’ve got a reputation with them, and not good. A hard ass & somewhat of an asshole. And a smart one.
Bad week for everyone. But things can always get worse . . .
With my dad gone my mom calls me. He’d taken the computer apart before he left. She doesn’t understand the internet any more than a bird does. Maybe even less.
I gotta go over an fix it. He’s made quite a mess. He’s a wasteful man – 3 scanners, more hard drives than I can count, and a computer whose components (and cables. And unmarked power supplies) are spread out hither-and-thither-and-yon-and-yonder and who knows what this thing is? kinda stuff . . .
I get it together. She’s been having her windows replaced (in celebration of my dad’s absence? Who knows?) – that’s why he’s been taking the computer apart . . .
She need me to do an inspection of the work. Since I worked as an architectural designer for a long time (more schooling there), and in my scope of duties at the last job I had (3 pages, front & back) was the one: “Building Inspector”. So I inspect . . .
gaps in the sealant along the outside. I’d spoken to those kids when I’d picked up that car of his.
Things can always get worse, but she can handle this job. I call her to call Lowes to call the contractor to call those kids to get them out and redo the job, getting the outside sills properly sealed against rain intrusion behind the brick wall . . .
So I go home. At last.
It’s NOW time, my time . . .
I feed the dogs . . . one steps on my flip-flopped foot, and it’s claw digs into my little toe . . .
I don’t notice until I’m in the house that I’m leaking again, a little bit all over. Clean it up.
“It’s just one thing after another,” I say, cussing and looking up. “Just one damn thing after another and another and another . . . ”
I go sit down, sign onto the computer. I make a post on social media thanking my luck cuz’ I know though it’s been a hell of a week, things can always get worse without getting better.
Putting the computer down, I go out on my deck for a smoke with a clipon flashlight. I’m reading a book (made the library after all).
I’m feeling more relaxed, a bit more confident. The week is over, right? Things should be smooooth from here . . . it’s the weekend, right? Tho’ I gotta wash my car tomorrow, clean house, get all those chores done I was supposed to take care of but got pushed to the side . . .
The flashlight starts flickering. It’s one that uses button batteries. I take the batteries out because shuffling them & cleaning the contacts usually solves the problem. As I’m shuffling them back in their hole, one falls through my fingers, rolls between the deck boards and drops. It’s dark, hence me muttering & mucking around with a flashlight for Christ’s sake!)
So here I am on my hands & knees (with another flashlight, of course) crawling thru’ the little opening that allows access under the deck. I’m wearing shorts . . . think ‘bare knees on gravel & sand, crawling forward . . .
and a log from the woodpile falls on my foot, blocking the opening behind . . . no big deal, I’ll move it . . .
Luck! – I find the battery right away, turn around – it’s dark – and start man-handling the log . . .
Ouch, my hands are stinging . . .
Flicking on the flashlight I see the log is covered in fireants – and they’ve attacking my fingers.
Quickly I brush them off and survey the situation . . .
I’m not staying under the deck all night.
So I crawl my butt through the fireants, cussing & brushing . . . and remembering what I wrote.
As I emerged from under the deck, I looked up waiting for that meteor or lightning stroke . . .
cuz’ it’s been a whole week like that and I know:
Things can always get worse without getting better . . .
Fate doesn’t give a damn about that. Karma (or coincidence) is what it is . . .
So lets hope that they are gonna get better (Hope! Outta Pandora’s Box) while expecting some worse, but don’t give into worrying (that only makes it worse).
Be glad when things are going okay,
and learn to count your blessings.
Postscript: After I got done writing this, I go out on the deck and discover: my dog has once again ripped out the low voltage light’s wiring . . .