The Air Up There

She asked me to work at the restaurant in her place one night and when I got there I realized that she wanted me to COOK and I have literally no idea how to make any of her menu items and how can I possibly DO this? She didn’t seem to care and I just stood in the doorway leading out to the patio and cried and cried and cried. The servers were bustling around getting ready to open and they didn’t even notice that I was crying. I walked out to the parking lot to call Todd and tell him how upset I was and then my brother showed up and said he was going to do it for me.

I’m so glad I didn’t have to do that, nor did I have to navigate the flooded roads of my hometown just weeks before Ida really did flood those streets. Which is why I likely couldn’t sleep past 4:30 this morning and thankfully did not have to clean the home I once shared with my ex. He ruined it anyway, when he painted every last wall of the 1902 Victorian farmhouse … gray.

These are the things my brain weasels do when I lay me down to sleep and pray the lord my soul to keep. I thought a new mattress might alleviate the back and joint ills, with the bonus of knocking the weasels clean out, at least for a little while. I do sleep way better, but it would seem the weasels have returned from their sojourn to start a midnight rave.

I’ve been complaining to Todd for well over a year now that we NEED a new mattress. You think? He said. I said, okay – I need a new mattress. And, before ya’ll think I’m self-serving, sometimes a man – even a man like Todd – needs a less than subtle approach. So we went out to buy one on a recent Saturday night, threw it on the back of the pickup truck, and by some miracle got it into the house between the two of us. Okay, Todd did most of the hauling. We ran into two of Opac’s old friends and woulda-coulda-shoulda asked them, but they were on their way to the infamous B-Dubs for dinner – which was a bittersweet moment as I realized my son would – or should – have been with them. But we’re not lamenting today.

So when’s the last time ya’ll bought a new mattress? Did you know that these mattresses are so Extra that normal sheets don’t fit on them? I have a set of “deep pocket” sheets and I’ve always generally known what that means but damn. We didn’t need a new boxspring so we threw our new monstrosity on top of the old one and … let’s put it this way… Todd and I are not tall people.

Put another way, we have to get a running start to get into it. I’m thinking we’ll probably be alright for about seven or eight years, assuming we stay physically fit, until we need to replace it and by then we’ll be in our 60s and then can revert to the “low profile” mattress. You can’t sit down on it. You have to fling yourself up into it. That night, once I’d successfully climbed in and pulled the covers over me, I felt faintly like the Princess and the Pea except. This bed. Is. Like. Heaven. And it ought to be, considering how close to the heavens we feel when we’re in it. When I asked Todd to repeat something he said, he accused me of not listening to him again and I had to tell him my brain isn’t functioning properly because the air is so thin up here.

The next morning after I’d gotten up to make coffee, he asked me how I felt… after repelling down. Anyway, I am happy to report that we are both sleeping way better. Well, except for the dreams but it couldn’t be the elevation, could it? I do wake up with headaches every day. Thought that was the teeth clenching, but maybe it’s something else?

In other news, we’ve have been out and about – to brunch and another performance by a faculty member – and attended a cookout (or cook-in) hosted by the VP and his wife. We attended a dedication in Havre de Grace of a statue commissioned and unveiled in honor of one of its most famous citizens, Ernest Burke, one hot Saturday a couple of months back. Afterward we wandered with a friend into Washington Street Books & Music, where I was transported by the music of The Cars going round and round and the magical movie costumes and memorabilia on display.

Todd has played almost as much golf as Donald Trump this summer, and he talked me into driving some balls on Labor Day and I didn’t do half bad for my second time (the first time being twenty-something with friends and zero instruction). And NOW I have a set of clubs he bought for me the following week because we’re going to golf together. He’s an excellent instructor, though what is it they say about not coaching your spouse? Stay tuned. There is bound to be some blog fodder from this.

Neph called Todd last week and wanted to plan dinner at our place with my in-laws for last night. All I asked is, who’s cooking? Since last time he planned something like this it was for Nephtoo’s graduation and then he threw in my birthday as an enticement for me to host and cook a party. AS IF. And then he arrived late with the guest of honor who also slept late and then needed a ride because he forgot to charge his no-carbon-footprint car.

So, last night. I would’ve preferred today or Sunday when I wasn’t getting home from work at 6:00 and sliding right into dinnertime, but I went with it. I called Todd on my way home to tell him I was stopping at the store for vanilla ice cream to go with the apple crisp I made because I like it that way and so does his mom and that’s when he told me Neph wasn’t coming. And, also, that Neph never actually reached out to his grandparents about it. So – Neph, you are on my shit list. Okay, not really, because he legit has a reason to stay away and it’s not COVID but he definitely isn’t feeling well and he is being responsible by staying home. Well, except for the part about calling grandmom and poppy. He also owes me a phone call because he is like my third child in that he checks in on me, though maybe it’s just sucking up so he can get in the will. Is that it, Neph?

Anyhoo (a Neph-ism), I’m grateful for Saturday and beautiful weather, and – a grocery store full of unmasked people looking like COVID doesn’t exist here notwithstanding – life is pretty good right now. Except for the little gnats that have been buzzing around my face for the last two days. Their good life is numbered days and large can of Aqua-Net.

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