Thursday, November 8, 2018

Another day. A day. A day where everything went wrong, and everyone was to blame.

Okay, so not everyone and everything, but you know what I mean. Woke up to the notification on my phone of another mass shooting at a club, many killed. Went down and got coffee, checked Instagram. A friend was supposed to be there last night, but didn't go. The kids were wrangled off to school and I didn't mention it. Didn't even read the news piece on it. I know. We all do. People were killed. The details will kill us all.

Drove out to the manufacturing plant to pick up the materials, only to see a bunch of the workers out front, strangely watching the highway, and who just nodded my way as I drove in. Walked into Will Call just as the paramedics arrived, moving past me. I stayed out of the way of the action, as they tended to an employee who needed medical attention. When I finally got up to the desk I mentioned quietly, without inquiring on the details, "I hope everyone is okay."

"It's been that kind of week," was the solemn response, and I nodded/shook my head accordingly.

Eventually the factory guys came out with the materials and greeted me with a hearty, "Moneybags got a brand new truck!" referring to me, using the unlikely moniker I am always greeted with, and gesturing to my recent purchase. I defensively reminded them that I'd been coming here in the same old beat-up truck for fifteen years, until now, but there was head shaking, all around. "Moneybags got a full kitty somewhere... Counts it on the beach, doesn't he?"

I forced a laugh and tried to change the subject. "A lot of action around here, today. Everything okay in there?" One of the guys blew out a broad, white cloud from his vape, and then mentioned completely without irony, "One of the ladies was having a hard time breathing. She's got real bad asthma."

Anyway, the components had the wrong cuts on them. Corbels here, scallops there -not my fault. But, in a travesty full-blown and rarely committed: wrong color. And that was my fault. But easily made, in my defense. THESE parts "Mojave Tan" and THOSE parts "Spanish Brown"! Oh well. That's my life. I placed a rush re-order, loaded up, and moved on -just as the paramedics were loading up the sad woman, and moving on. I breathed out a short prayer, remembering a question someone asked me once: "How would you feel if you were in an ambulance, being rushed to the hospital, with the sirens blaring, and knowing that at every intersection, the people in the other cars were praying for you?"

So, I arrived at the lonely job site only to find that the measurements were off. Couldn't get a hold of the homeowner, whom I'd never met, to hammer down the details, and then I realized that moment had passed -noon on Thursday- where my re-order was already processing, and now I was going to have to re-reorder. This was getting expensive, and depressingly so.

Here, Moneybags headed to the nearest microbrewery to put this down on a blog, where he could at least push "publish" and log the word count.

Across the street from the nearby humble, local airport is Legacy Brewing, where I ordered The Chesty Irish Red, but the bartender brought me a beer. (I'll beer here all week, folks!) And no sooner did I sit down and open up the screen did my customer from today's job call and ask what was going on. Now: it looks like Moneybags has a decision to make. Do I drink the beer? Do I go back to the job site? Do I do both? Can anything be solved? And on a day like this?

There's a long table at Legacy Brewing. Ten distinguished looking older men are sitting at it, on a Thursday, having a pint, but otherwise the place is quiet. The men are planning something. A proposition. A journey. A business endeavor. They are serious, but satisfied. And then six of them get up, shake hands, and leave. The other four finish their beers, watch them exit, and say, "The married ones have left." And they laugh a bit. And that's when my phone rang, and I swear my customer was one of those guys, calling from the parking lot, probably leaning up against my truck, not noticing the materials in the bed. Materials with his name on them.

I have declared the day is over. Hell, it's almost 4:00. Got the word via wife-text today that our youngest, according to the parent-teacher conference, is "a perfect student and a dream to have in class." The teacher must not have got the memo about the recurring meltdowns he has at home. Must be us, then.

The phone is ringing again. It's my customer. I think I gotta go. But I don't think another meltdown is going to solve anything today.