A Step Back In Time

A useful and necessary memory

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

When I first published this piece, in a slightly altered form, back in the Summer of 2019, I titled it “You Can’t Touch Me.” The joke was that I should have titled it “Why You Can’t Get In Touch With Me.” Or my cat.

My cat that spring ©Asnen
My cat that summer ©Asnen

This is and was not a sob story, although frequently both the woman I live with and my cat had been sobbing. One of them, I won’t say which, had sought outside help. What kind? Well, take your pick from the list of complaints delineated below. None of which is my fault (to the best of my knowledge — but who, particularly the cat, ever tells me anything?). Which puts me in a difficult but decent position to provide reportage.

So, now I shall proceed to pick up the pace… Where we were in the Summer of 2019:

We are feeling downright awkward these days and would be even if you could get in touch. Lefties, we are, in virtual poverty feeling like petite bourgeoisie waiting for the help to show up.

And tell me this, wise friends: How do you say “no” to the offer of a free house from a dead person?

Walk over, kick the dirt a few times around the headstone, knock knock, “Hey, thanks, but no thanks, we’d rather stick around with a $XX0,000 mortgage and moisture problems, neighbors like gorillas and pollution from hell. Nice seeing you again. Buh-bye.”

Back in the old Honda and off.

(The monkey thing? Not all the neighbors, just some of them…that should keep ’em off our backs…as if any of them were on Medium…or could read…).

Oh. I shouldn’t be that nasty?

We are currently living in an empty house surrounded by cardboard boxes of all sizes filled with every particle of our lives…since May? And it’s AUGUST!

That’s right, cadets, since May.

How did the dead one die, so that we came into this windfall? Not relevant. Who cares? Except that he’s more comfortable than we are!!!

We end up with a haunted mansion and no mortgage. Thanks. Everyone’s dream (yes, my subconscious really did first type a “d” for “dread” instead of an “m” there).

And we packed up, almost right away, or started to, as soon as the contractor told us we’d be ready to ship off in May.

That was May, right?

So, why are we still here? With our entire lives in the boxes? It’s August!

The contractor. And this phrase he loves to use, over and over.

I write this non-sob story as a warning to all you cadets out there. If you should ever escalate in your lives to that rarified platform in life, whether through death, disease or the fault of the stars, and step into the mud of the type of home ownership that ever requires you to employ a contractor, beware this phrase:

“You want it done right, dontcha?”

Photo by Callum Hill on Unsplash

This is tantamount to the bull waving the red flag at the toreador. “Come at me, muchacho! I got the sword now, hombre!”

What can you say in response to such a thing? Kick the dirt in front of you a few times, perhaps with some sass, and say, “No!” He’s not buried. I wish…

Not likely!

With this phrase at his command, the typical contractor can do whatever he pleases, and whenever he pleases, how often he likes. It’s like having a light saber!

Photo by Some Tale on Unsplash

Not bad. And you are nothing but a worm.

Photo by Oscar Manrique on Unsplash

So, beware when the day comes and you hear these words. Run, little worm, RUN! For you are about to be trapped in the maelstrom. Take your kittens with you and hide as quickly as possible. Hide from the evil contractor. Do not let your loved ones suffer in the towers of cardboard as we have, cut off from wi-fi and television, radio and the security of tornado warnings… And cry, O, Lord! To the Postal Service!

Oh, the triumphant echoes from the wings as plumbers, electricians and painters sing choruses through their lunches…

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

“You want it done right, dontcha?”

And please, nondenominational thoughts and prayers for us all.

Even though the kitty got to like the boxes, the rat. Just wait, rat, wait…

happy kitty today ©Asnen

Look at that! They couldn’t even do the windows right!!!

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.

Get the Medium app