Yesterday was horrible for me. I couldn’t stop crying. Another wet mess. It was one of those anniversary days we mark off in our head, and I cried over my disappointments in how my life had changed: the things I had desired… and what I never got in return. It was a very difficult day, and my foolishness left me with a splitting headache that I’m still carrying around.
The funny part of all of this, (if there can be a funny part,) is that last night while I was sobbing, I was still wrapping sold Amazon items and sending out emails to people and talking to friends online giving opinions on curtain fabric choices and being productive. “Sure I’m miserable, but go with #1.” Also, my manicurist had said in passing last week that she had been thinking about opening her own shop some day, but she didn’t know what it would entail and could I help her by finding some “building a business” information? I remembered last night, so all of that was printed out and ready for her today. Will it happen for her? I don’t know, but as I told her, “I would never dissuade anyone from their dreams or hopes for the future.”
I opted for a manicure color I would normally never wear, a layered thing of a pale gold covered by a silver, giving the whole thing a shimmery effect. Mermaid fingers. Everyone loved it. So I’m sitting there drying, spa is humming with activity, and the lady across from me cries out. Her pedicure bowl is overflowing and won’t shut off. The pedicure chairs are high end and called The Murano Chair (the bowl being Murano glass.) They sell for $12,000. They do everything but pay your bills. She just sat there, complaining, so I said, “You’re getting the full spa experience.” Everyone laughed.
I got up and joined a few of the manicurists who were throwing towels down on the floor. They had unplugged the chair, but the water kept coming out. The eldest manicurist (and most level headed), Cheryl, said, “There’s a manual switch under the chair that overrides this.” Two people got down trying to find it, but by now there was a deep pool of water all over the place. Without thinking, I hiked up my pants, got on my knees and started feeling under the chair, asking Cheryl what I should be feeling for. I finally found the lever and pulled it toward me, and the flow stopped. I went and got a glass and started bailing out the bowl while this fool woman continued to sit in the chair saying, “Where are my shoes? I don’t want to get my feet wet.” It's moments like this where you think, "You can't make this stuff up."
As I left I said to Cheryl, with a meaningful look, “Have a good work week,” and she laughed and shook her head. One pragmatic woman to another. When I was leaving the spa, the front desk people thanked me profusely. Manicure dinged, of course. All in a day’s work for bicycle repairman.
This afternoon I took a nap, trying to recover from these past few days, and when I got up and sat on the edge of my bed, the first thought that popped into my head was, “That was your father. What you did today was your father.” My father was one of those men who never hesitated to jump into the fray. He was one of those rare men who could build or fix anything: carpentry, plumbing, electricity, air conditioning, car motors. Dig a hole to build a swimming pool? Sure. Build a church camp? Sure. I’ve always thought that all of my own mechanical skills and comprehension and ease with machinery and technologies came from him, but my thinking “That was your father” comes with a price. A heavy, sad price. Things I won’t even go into here. Things that I carry around. Things I don’t think will ever go away. But yes, that was my father.