Letters to Holly

Thursday, October 15

Blueprints and Results.

The cabinet guy came over this morning, and it was the older of the two guys who installed the drawers Monday. The same guy to whom I had first said the drawers were going in the wrong columns. He measured the exterior columns and didn't want to look at our schematic, saying they had it at the store. He offered to install exterior drawers (implying they would be free) and leave the incorrect drawers where they are. I hadn't considered that possibility; I was worried they'd have to tear down the whole thing and start from scratch. Your Sister didn't like that idea. I agree, but I saw that as one of two extremes: either raze and redo or give us a small refund. He offered a new option. We're content with that.

He didn't offer much in the way of an explanation or apology. I did not want the man to grovel, you understand, but something to explain why this happened would have been nice. As he left, he chuckled and said "but you know ... it's just cabinets." It took much strength to not reply "and thousands and thousands of dollars." Which it was. We splurged more than we should have.

We think we handled this well. We think we've been patient. We have not been shrill. When they install the new drawers early next week (we hope), that visit will be their third repair visit since they first assembled the shelves. Hopefully it will be the last. But we are not using this company again for any of the planned house projects we have in mind.

I called Your Sis and told here how it went down, and we agreed this particular guy is, in her words, "an odd duck." She never talks that way about people, so I feel more than justified in my own discomfort in how this all shook out. They're doing the right thing but not in the right way.

I made a salmon casserole last night, and I don't know what I was thinking. I kinda like salmon, but I don't like peas, and I'm not hot on milk. These are the major elements of the dish. What was I thinking? It never smelled good to me, yet Your Sis went crazy for it as she walked in from work. The cats I had to lock up to keep them out from under my feet, and I almost did the same to her. I cooked it and served it and realized I was in trouble. We sat down to eat -- finally, after a long day for us both -- and just as I was putting the spoonful of salmon, macaroni, and peas into my wary mouth, the phone rang. My mom's neighbor had committed suicide.

I had known this man all my life and, for all my life, he was a right bastard. He was proud to be dumb, slovenly, and chippy. He didn't like me either. I was a smartypants from birth, and all our conversations ended with tension. How he made it to be a state trooper says a lot about South Carolina's men in gray. Since he retired, he physically broke down with obesity and bad diets. He allegedly had legs black from poor circulation, and he was weary of dialysis. He went into his backyard, on the opposite side of the fence from my parents' bedroom wall, and shot himself in the chest. Mom was bubbly from having something new to talk about. I don't think she took a breath for the half-hour in which she recited all the conversations she's had about the matter since it happened Tuesday night.

When I got off the phone I was so angered from my memories of this man and the way he treated his family and Mom's giddy gossiping that what little appetite I had for the casserole had evaporated. I slid my bowl over to Your Sis and microwaved some tomato soup.

It's the middle of Ocotober, and I still have not laid eyes on the kid I'm supposed to mentor for his senior project. He's way behind on this effort to make a comic book by the end of the semester. I've talked to his teacher (a good acquaintance), and she's now officially worried about his chances. I don't know if he can even draw a triangle.

I'm having weird water dreams where my backyard is flooded and stocked with sea creatures. Last night I dreamed I was fishing for decaying trout, and I threw at least one of them into the eager mouth of a walrus sitting next to me. I blame the casserole combined with the constant rain.

Picture of the Day
This is the schematic of the next project I want to build. And use. Upon an unsuspecting populace of no-good-niks.

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