If Mercury Aint In Retrograde

(Kinda boring so if you don’t have time, you can skip this one.)

Phone screen replacement, episode 2 – we cancelled the claim at the first store and started a new claim at another location. Somebody from this store called to touch base on the claim and explain the time frame needed (which made me mildly suspicious that he’d already heard about me) and that they would be closed on Easter Sunday. I told him I’d be in on Thursday.

It’s in a college town where the streets were bursting at the seams with people and cars. I parked the car and downloaded the app to pay for parking and walked half a block to the store. I did not feel up to wandering around aimlessly so I went back to the car and cracked open a book I only half concentrated on since people-watching is a reflex I can’t control.

Groups of “kids” walking in the shortest shorts and camis, torn jeans, bike shorts with cracks so deep a fart would echo, and – the best of them all – the young woman with a Diana Ross 70s afro, wearing pink knee socks and a pink bling “collar” around her neck, with lashes as long as her legs. She was stunning. And then there was the gray-haired Rocket Man on his motorcycle blasting his theme song. I so love watching people be their unapologetically authentic selves, and envy a bit those kids who found it long before I ever did.

When the two hours was up, I walked back to the store only to be told that “Verizon had sent in the wrong information” about my phone and so they didn’t have the part to fix it. I don’t where the problem started, but my email confirmation DID state the correct phone model. They’d have to order the part and so they would call me when they got it. Guess what? It’s a week later and they haven’t called.

Meanwhile, my car’s AC is being tempermental. It works when it’s cooler or when the car isn’t in direct sun for 10 hours. Which means it worked fine on the way to the phone place and I kept it on while I waited. But then on the way home – it didn’t. So it was hot and humid and I’m sweating and Todd called me and I hollered at him because fix-it assholes strike again and I’m sweating my balls off and NOW I need a liquor store because I need a drink. Which way are you going home? He asked. Because major accident with detours and I might want to take the back roads. Which really meant I had to get creative because I was NOT going home without vodka.

Todd dropped my car off at the garage that now has a 10% cut of our annual income in car repairs and finally brought home the ’68. (The ’68 Mustang needed a variety of tweaks over several months but now purrs like a lion and ready for cruising season.) Saturday we went to Costco in the 2012 Mustang (a not-too-long-ago acquisition that is identical to the former ’12 that was totalled in 2018). When we made to leave, the car wouldn’t start. So… 45-minute tow truck ride back home with Muhammed who prefers the windows down and no conversation and a friend picked us and all of our groceries up at the garage.

Monday morning I picked up my not-yet-repaired car to drive to downtown Baltimore since the weather was cool enough and I wanted a reliable car with GPS to get me to UMB hospital where a family member was having surgery. It was a long day for everyone. Surgery was over nine hours. We took a lunch break around 12:30 at a restaurant two blocks away and on Todd’s office block.  I ordered a gyro that was hands-down the best gyro I’ve had since my parents’ gyros at our pizza shop in the 80s. I literally did not speak for twenty minutes. Todd has no idea how many times I’m going to demand a gyro before he comes home.

A member of the extended family I’d never met has been at the hospital nearly every day to support us and while he is lovely, he insisted I was a dead-ringer for his sister and that we could be twins and then showed me a picture of a woman twenty years my senior who looks nothing like me and what do you say to that??? Smile and wave. Just – smile and wave. You know that feeling – when someone says you look just like someone they know, and then you hold your breath while they show you the proof?

So while all that is going on, the dogs are keeping busy prowling the yard for miscreants and they have not been disappointed. One night last week there was a lot of barking going on in the very back of the yard and at one point I could see that they had something they were swinging around. Swinging Around. A grown cat. Todd and I ran out there and managed to pull them away from the cat – a resident stray who is well fed by the homes that surround ours and thus has No Business in our backyard. The cat was angry and exhausted but appeared otherwise unharmed.

Critter 2.0 – several nights ago our neighbor texted that the dogs had a groundhog and so out we ran – AGAIN – to rescue another dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks animal. This time Shuggie and Bee were lunging at it and nipping at it and SHE was leaping through the air, teeth bared, like Kungfu panda. It was a sight to see and only one dog is even remotely responsive when you call her and guess what – it aint Shuggie. Shuggie is delirious when she’s chasing animals. She’s not obedient. At. All. So I’m trying to corral Shug and Todd is trying to move the groundhog who, at this point, is lying on her back completely exhausted. Eventually he was able to move her along on her own feet and out she went.

I drove back down to Baltimore on my day off and the cruise on 95 wasn’t terrible except for the swimming pool in the far left lane that took up so much of the road that no one could pass. Why was there a swimming pool in the left lane, you ask? Because I-95 is a shitshow folks. Anyway, I dared to trust my memory to get to the hospital again and OF COURSE I missed my exit. Thank God it was an easy fix but the time it cost me interfered with visiting time and so we didn’t have much. I am happy to report, however, that recovery is going well and we are optimistic about the upcoming week.

In other news, I did get some tulips blooming and now the rabbits have moved on to my lilies – the center of the lush green leaves is completely eaten away, like the little fuckers jumped in the middle and ate their way out. I love animals, but even I have my limits. I’ve done some preliminary research on deterrents and will report back on my findings.

The joy of living in the country is not lost on me, however. While we have discussed moving many times, nothing quite beats the quietude of our little corner of Maryland – the silent sky twinkling with the constellations of stars and the frog-song celebrating the tranquility of the wood behind us.

But, like all things Gemini, there will always be a juxtaposition of chaos with the peace – you know, dogs and mud and mania with the wonder of grass and trees and breezy sunny days.

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