Granted, no one’s chasing me with a stick, but give it time. That will be next in the cavalcade of misfortune. Right now, though, I have my hands full with the newest calamity: a flooded apartment. A stoopid pipe burst, boosh, and water rolled in like the tide. What pipe and why it exploded are strangely murky, I’ve heard conflicting accounts.
What’s clear is the fact I’m cursed. I am, I’m bedeviled. I don’t know who put the whammy on me, but they did a bang-up job. Really top-notch. It’s been one setback after another for nine long years: I’ve had two lay-offs, one health crisis, a financial meltdown, a broken arm, a car accident, eye surgery, a protracted and unrelenting blog funk, the polar vortex — well, you get the point.
Jumping Jehoshaphat, give me a break.
This latest mischance was fairly subpar, as adversities go. There was only minor damage, with the most troublesome aspect being the chaos. I hate chaos, it’s my bête noire. I like order, tidiness, but that’s in very short supply. Nothing is where it should be, things lie strewn about in piles and stacks and heaps, instead — atop counters and tables and couches, my version of higher ground. Heck, just finding clean socks requires an expedition, a tedious dig through layers of clothes and books and dvds and papers and linens …
Then there’s the ambience. The place has the atmosphere of a locker room: humid and damp. My shoes squeak and squelch on the spongy carpet. The walls are sweaty. The windows are opaque with condensation, but that has its advantages, you know? I can’t see the crusty snow or the stark, blackened trees outside. Winter is mercifully blotted out. That, my friends, is a silver lining.
Truthfully, I got off easy. Since I’m a minimalist (read that as poor), there wasn’t a lot of paraphernalia lying around to get waterlogged. I kept shoes on the floor, of course, but big deal. They survived. My computer, thank goodness, was high and dry on the drawing board. That was lucky — a rarity in my world. My cell phone, the television and dvd player, my portfolio and important papers, all unharmed. Books, for the most part, were unscathed.
I lost a digital converter for the television, some luggage, a backpack, but nothing important or valuable. Until I noticed the battered and scuffed leather suitcase that had belonged to my grandfather, a man I adored. My heart broke, it’s the last reminder I have. He was my hero, the one who came to the rescue when I was sick or hurt, needed stitches or vaccinations or, once, a blood transfusion. His was the face I sought in the scary times.
He was a doctor, but I thought he was Superman and Mr. Wizard and Albert Einstein rolled into one. He could do anything. He wrote amazing letters in secret code; drew enchanting cartoon characters; showed up bearing popcorn in brown wax paper bags; hid dollar bills under my plate at breakfast; and stood as straight as a flagpole.
Gosh, would you look at that? I have an abundance of memories, each one a powerful and vivid reminder in its own right. Best of all, they’re safe and dry and unfaded — I carry them with me always. I’ve let that be the lesson in this — keep the important things close to your heart, put everything else in a Ziploc.
Now, shall we move on to the next disaster?
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