Friday, January 13, 2012

Fried E-Grits For Breakfast?

Oh!  To awaken for the first time in days without a headache or feeling like I'd been hit by a truck in the night.  I was sick; now I'm almost back up to par (which, to be honest with you, has never been that great) and thankful to feel better.  I warmed up a cup of coffee and phoned my sister Kathy in Florida because I hadn't talked to her in a while.  She made me realize I was still a bit foggy-headed when she told me she'd had fried E grits for breakfast.  Now I know they eat grits in the south, but Kathy has never mentioned them before and so I asked her to repeat that one since I didn't know what an E grit was.

"I had five egrets for breakfast," she repeated.  Oh, well, that's better.  My sister, you see, has a compulsion to feed wildlife.  Upon moving to Florida it didn't take her long to set up a large bird fly-thru restaurant.  Herons and egrets visit her in the morning for their share of hot dogs.  If she's not outside they come to see what's up; she's found one staring at her through a window to hurry her along.  I believe she's had one land on the road behind her when on a morning stroll.  Thank goodness she doesn't feed the gators!  And I may get to see some of these birds soon since she's said she is thinking about starting a blog.  I hope she does!

I also went up to work this morning for the first time in days.  Cleaning a small post office isn't very exciting, nor is it very profitable, but it's better than cleaning a large one.  And I get paid to clean there, unlike here.  I tell my boss often that she would probably fire me if she saw my house, but she laughs because she thinks I'm kidding.  I like my boss.  We share mystery books and recipes and I have made it a mission to see she is never without a Scooby Doo fix for too long.  I figure I will stay there until she retires; I don't have it in me to break in another boss.  What if I get a non-reader?  Or worse yet... what if I get a boss who doesn't think I'm kidding?

This morning we had a man from maintenance show up to fix some sticky-door problems.  The metal doors were sticking and nothing would do but to file down the top edge with a big metal file.  The hand rasping was quite melodious, but it wouldn't do after all.  So, being a man who by necessity carries around tons of tools he never gets to use, he decided he'd pull out the big gun: the grinder.  Hearing him say the word "grinder" set my teeth on edge.  As luck would have it, I was in the business lobby with my broom and rags, and the door he must grind was my only exit.  I guess I could have escaped while he was trying to plug in his one hundred yard long extension cord, but the bulk of it was curled right in the doorway and then his step stool plunked down in front of that.  I swear he looked at me once, right in the eye, as he flipped the safety shield over his face, and then there was a whine and a scream of metal on metal.  It was like nails shooting into my jaw, then detouring down my spine.  He was good at it, too.  He'd stop; I'd take a breath.  He'd rub his hand over the door edge then reposition the grinder; I'd tuck my shoulders tight to my ears.  It was hard not to yell, "Stop!  I'll tell you anything you want to know!"

And so, at last, the door met with his reluctant approval and, as he slowly rolled the cord up and my boss reappeared from wherever she'd taken shelter, he gave us his dire news.  "This door was pretty bad but I think I have it taken care of for now.  But the other door," and he pointed out of the lobby into the main entryway, to the door that leads to the outside.  "That door is bad news.  I've got it to swing closed faster, but it is twisted.  If it's not twisted, then the frame of the building is twisted."  Roll, roll, roll.  "Looks like your building isn't very sound."  Roll, roll.  (It was a very long cord.)  "If this doesn't suit in a couple of days, call it in again." 

When he left I asked my boss if she had told him about the leaking roof.  "I didn't bring it up, no."  I didn't blame her, though he seemed just the type to love a job where he'd get to warn us about the roof caving in.  I left soon after.  One good thing came out of the torture.  The screaming metal chased all the fog out of my head.

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