Sacred Scroll

Old stories. #2:

I know for a fact that grown men whimper.

I don’t remember the first time I heard Jeff whimper, but it probably had something to do with some expensive Dale Earnhardt Sr 1:24 die-cast replicate race car.

I do remember one quite clearly, though.

Kmart was closing a few Michigan locations, so we took a drive out to one to see about bargains. The one we ended up at was nearly done-in. The place was a disaster; people were taking things off racks and shelves, opening and destroying boxes and leaving items mid-aisle.

I was just about to drag him out of that madhouse when we rolled by an aisle with – gasp – tools!

“Oooooo,” he murmured. Eyes wide, he radared every shelf. I don’t know how he saw it, but well-hidden, stacked behind some really traumatized boxes was a brand new scroll saw with it’s own folding workbench.

He dragged it out for inspection, carefully searching for any signs that it might have been opened before, returned or damaged in any way. Then, cautiously and thoroughly reviewed the “before and after,” markdown pricelist, dragging his finger down the display.

“Oooooo,” he gasped, peering closely. I could see the dreamy dollar signs in his glazed-over look.

“How much?” I asked.

“It was $215.00,” he marveled.

“How much?” I asked.

“It was already marked down to $115.00,” he cooed

“Jeff!” I snapped my fingers hoping to bring him back, because he was clearly swirling into the “I don’t think I can live without this piece of equipment,” abyss.

“How much?” I asked, again.

.Jeff tentatively smiled as he lovingly patted the box and solemnly spoke. “$62.50.”

“I don’t know, Jeff,” I hedged. “What would you use it for?”

“Lots of things,” he insisted. Earnestly adding, “for the store! um, and… making stuff!”

“I just don’t think we can afford that right now, honey,” I said, trying to let him down easy.

Certain he would bow to my logic, I wheeled the empty cart around to leave.

That’s when I heard it. The whimper.

I was so surprised I stopped right in my tracks and turned to stare at him.

The whimper came with a face I had never seen before – one way more serious than puppy-dog eyes.

Eyes still foggy with scroll-lust, bottom lip tucked in under his teeth, still touching the sacred saw, he barely shuffled away from the hand-magnetizing carton.

He truly tried to take another step toward me, moving maybe an entire inch, arm about 20 degrees behind him.

Then he whimpered, again.

“Ok,” I said. “Throw it in the cart.”

He did. Grinning and with ninja speed.

“Quit smiling like that,” I good-naturedly grumbled. “You’re gonna split your face wide open and I don’t wanna spend another night in the emergency room with you.”

Jeff just kept twinkle-smiling. I twinkle-smiled back.

Quote for the Week:

yesterday’s rain

I walked home in the rain, yesterday.

It wasn’t a deluge. I didn’t try to catch it in a paper cup. It was necessary.

I keep a huge Kohl’s plastic bag in my work tote for occasions like this. When the weatherman gets it wrong. I carry a ball cap, too, even with the lack of thick hair to keep it on when the wind picks up. I really don’t care if my head gets wet, but I’ve noticed that hair actually does a pretty good job of keeping the water from running down your face. So, capping it is.  

I’m sure I look a looney in my get up. I wear my go-to bonnet underneath my raincoat hood. My pea-head doesn’t hold up to the assumption that if you wear a larger size, your head must be larger-than-normal, too. Here’s the descript: Without the head help, looking straight ahead, I can only see from my nose down.

The sleeves are also about 2 inches too long. Helpfully, they keep at least one hand from cold-water pruning. The other one hoists my baggage. I likely drag along too much stuff for my two-days-per-week journey.

In my defense, I might want or need: phone charger, ear phones, sanitizer, chap stick, face powder that I could probably leave home since I have not used it in over a year. Also, coupons, reference paperwork, tissues, plastic bags, ball cap and a handkerchief. Paperclips, two pens, in case one does not work. Plus, the regular house keys, office keys, lunch box, water bottle, phone and masks. Yes, plural.

Anyway, yesterday. On my way out of my windowless work space, I hadn’t assessed the situation. Which led to having to assemble myself in the see-through vestibule. Bright pink, nylon-raincoat flap engaged, faded bluish bill sticking out, primed me for the silly-looking 5-minute trek home began.

That’s when I started thinking.

When was the last time I walked in the rain on-purpose? I knew it might rain today. Walking was a risk; a logic-balanced choice, though. Michigan Construction Season is in full-swing. It would take me 15-20 minutes to drive the alternate ‘detour’ route.

Two years ago, I regularly walked in the evening and on weekends. Walked the long way to work, 4-5 times a week. Checking my photos, it looks like my last deliberate rain-tread was a weekend morning. May 2019. Based on my shots, I’m sure it wasn’t a hard rain. Not likely was a drizzle, either. I remember making the choice to go.

I took a lot of rain-brightened pictures of flowers and leaves. Overcast skies and water make nature’s colors pop. I enjoyed the way the misty air kissed my skin.

Maybe it’s time to stop the basement cycle. I don’t take any photos down there on my perpetually-circular treadmill trips.

I’m kinda wishing for a wet morning this weekend. Just so I can conquer the walk, for the first time this year.

And ramble some. And take some cheery rain-soaked photos.

Question for the Week:

The Jesus and Mary Chain Happy When it Rains

Aaron Neville Can’t Stop My Heart From Loving You (The Rain Song)

Rihanna Umbrella

Churdled (milk)

Then, it occurred to me.

Wait – my chocolate milk? I haven’t bought any chocolate milk, lately.”

“Yeah, you did.” Jeff came back. “It was just a little one, with the rabbit on it. I think maybe it wasn’t any good anymore. It smelled kinda funny. It was kinda old, too.”

My mind went from – I don’t remember buying chocolate milk to – “Wait – what? How old? It smelled bad, and you used it anyway?” I squawked and gaped.

“Well, it wasn’t that old. I checked the date. Just a couple of weeks. And, I don’t drink the stuff, so I don’t know what’s good!”

The rule-follower in me was flabbergasted. My brain shorted into partial words. I stumbled over ‘chocolate’ and ‘milk’ and ended up with an accidental coinage. “You gave me churdled milk? This is why perishables are date stamped!”

“Nah,” Jeff insisted, remarkably patiently, considering we were having this conversation  for perhaps the hundredth if not close to the hundredth time. “Those are just sug-gest-ed dates. Things don’t suddenly go bad on that date.”

“I know that,” I insisted, back. “But, they eventually do!”

That earned me an eye-roll. “Well,” he jokingly reasoned, “If you just drank the white milk, ya would’a had better coffee, then.”

“Yeah?” I countered, “and what is the date on that?”

Jeff yanked the fridge open and grabbed the milk jug. “Hmm,” he noted, grinning. “Says yesterday.” He pulled off the cap and, to my horror, full-on stuck his sniffer in the hole.

Not much scared Jeff. Inserting his nose into, or, even taking a swig from, a gallon of possibly spoilt milk, wasn’t on his list of scary stuff. For the record, though, being chased with a dead fish, was.

“Nope.” Jeff split-second analyzed the experience. “It’s definitely not ch-urdled, yet.” He glanced over at me, and grinned at my expression. “Probably wouldn’t use that either, wouldya?”

Me, grimacing back: “No. Especially, not since you just stuck your nose in there.”

“Aw, my nose didn’t touch the milk!” Jeff scoffed.

“So what, if it didn’t touch the milk? Your nose got wiped on the spout! You’re gonna have to pour the milk over that!’

“Geez, ok.” Jeff went for a paper towel. “I’ll wipe it out!”

“Don’t even think about giving me that milk, tomorrow.” I warned him. “And, don’t cook with it, either!”

Jeff guffawed. “You’re not gonna die from the milk!”

“Damn, right.” I replied. “Cuz, none of it is going past my lips!”

He took a swig, swished it around in his mouth, and ridiculously wiggled his tongue in my direction. “Wanna kiss?” he teased.

(To be fair, I guess Jeff helped coin the word. I dropped it, but he picked it up and ran for the punchline.)

Quote for the week:2019 05 28 Sometimes there is only one way to figure it out jakorte