A Bad Morning in the Tri-County Area

Francis Bowers was a dangerous man. He held ultimate control over the holiday scheduling at each and every Featherweight Mattress store in the tri-county area.

In prior years, this had not been a real issue, but this year was something else. Francis knew he had a disaster brewing on his hands when Joel Summers, the manager of the second largest store, called him on a Friday morning, bright and early.

“Frank, none of my crew has shown up today. I don’t know what’s going on. The only one who had any reason to act out is Stacy, because her family is holding that reunion this weekend and I told her she still had to work, but I don’t know the first thing about the others. None of them are answering their phones. When I called Steve in Midvale he said that none of his guys would be able to make the trip all the way over here, but you know as well as I do that he only has one kid that drives his mom’s car, and the rest are middle aged champion salesmen. Help me out here.” Joel was practically in a panic, which Francis found mildly unnerving since Joel was the coolest cucumber anyone could ever hope to meet.

“I’ll work it out, Joel, just hang tight for me.” Francis thumbed the phone off and rolled over in bed to have a look at the clock radio that he kept on his Ikea nightstand. 8:30. He relaxed back into his pillows, then started bolt upright. 8:30?? Francis hadn’t slept that late in years. His stores opened at eight on the dot, and he made it a point to be at a different one every single morning the moment the doors unlocked.

Just to make sure his managers were staying on top of things, you know. Got to keep them on their toes.

With a longing glance at the Stairmaster that towered in the corner of his bedroom, Francis resigned himself to having the offest of off days. No protein shake, no Stairmaster, but most painful of all, no leisurely soak in the hot tub downstairs after the workout and before officially starting his day.

Francis rummaged through his walk-in closet for what felt like hours, looking for that one pair of ebony black Louboutins that never failed to bring him out of a funk. He couldn’t even find one. Every other pair of overpriced dress shoes in the closet was neatly shelved in its individual space, but not the fucking Louboutins. He was going to have to fire Shirley and find a new maid. Again.

Francis kicked the closet door and cracked the frame. “Dammit!” he screamed. If Shirley had been in the house, she might have wondered who had broken in, because Francis never cursed. Aloud, anyway. He yanked a pair of Kenneth Coles from the nearest shelf and threw the left one across his bedroom, striking the Frank Auerbach painting he had acquired at great personal expense and knocking it to the floor, where it landed facedown.

He gasped and held a hand to his mouth, horrified at what he had done. “No, no, no,” he muttered to himself as he dropped the right shoe on his way to check on the painting. His hand trembled as he reached out to turn the painting over, but that fell to his side as he saw the irreparable damage that he’d done. The hole went straight through the canvas.

Francis looked up sharply and saw the dark scuff mark that the shoe had made on the wall when it passed through the painting. He stood up and snatched his phone from the Ikea table and furiously dialed Shirley’s number. When the busy signal blared its dah-dah-dah in his ear, he slung the phone even harder than he’d thrown the shoe; the phone fared less well, shattering as it hit the wall across the room.

Fortunately, Francis had missed the second Auerbach that hung opposite the first.

 

 


Walking with Anne

Last night I went for a walk.

Because my A1C has just increased .2 after coming back exactly the same every time my doctor checked it for years, and I don’t want to lose my feet.

That may sound like a bit of a leap, since I’m not diabetic, but I have too many friends and acquaintances with fewer than ten toes, and my mother is diabetic, and both of my grandmothers were diabetic, and I have PCOS.

I dithered for a while over what to listen to. Finally, I decided on audio books.

I’ve never been able to get into audio books, so I knew I had to listen to something I’ve read many times, something I knew and knew well. So I went with Anne of Green Gables.

It was an excellent choice.

The street was perilously puddlesome, so in the interests of keeping my feet dry, I walked in small circles, looping from one of our driveways to the other, round and around.

I walked, and I listened, and I relaxed into the familiar rhythm of the story. As always, my heart warmed when Matthew picked Anne up at the station, when he decided that he kind of liked her chatter, and when she fell silent at the beauty of the White Way of Delight.

Two chapters took me about a mile and a quarter, and then I came inside to cook dinner, which I am dutifully tracking.


Ten Minutes

Tonight, I got nothing. So I set a timer for ten minutes, and we’ll see what we get.

We went to a philosophy group meeting earlier tonight. I wasn’t up for writing about it because it’s late and I have to get up early, but I will tomorrow. And it will be entertaining.

I did warn them, when we were going around the room introducing ourselves. I’m a writer, I’m just here for fodder.

I meant it, but I had no idea what I was getting into.

In other news, I have to figure out what I’m going to do for my brother’s graduation next month. Someone, either my brother or my mother, initially gave us the wrong date, and now that we know the right date, it’s too late for Ian to get someone to work for him, so he can’t go.

I’m not looking forward to going to work tomorrow. No special reason, just don’t wanna. You know? Bleh.

What else? I’m going to make jello shots this weekend with some chocolate covered pretzel vodka. Surprise, Ian! He didn’t know about this. I have to figure out what to mix it with, though. Any suggestions? Maybe chocolate soda. I don’t know if I can still find that at the store.

Here’s some news. I’m ghostwriting a book. It’ll be coming out in installments, and the first one will be out next month, in time for some kind of convention. It’s a fair gig. I was recruited for editing, but I don’t think he was aware that what he was really asking for was a ghostwriter, not a copy editor.

Um.

Seriously. No inspiration right now.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Little known fact about me: my best friend and I practiced saying the alphabet backwards as fast as we could just in case that was ever a sobriety test. When we were twelve-ish, so well before we were drinking and driving. Not that we planned to drink and drive. This was just something to do that we could stump a cop with one day. Anybody else have a story like that?
Anybody else able to say the alphabet backwards in less than four seconds?

Um.

I spent far too much time not typing.

This is not an impressive post.

I probably should have opened the nearest book and put my finger on a word and written about that for ten minutes. I think I’ll do that tomorrow. It could be entertaining. Or I could rewrite my story. But don’t worry, I’m definitely writing about our philosophy group meeting.