“I am bent, but not broken.” – X

I recently learned a little bit of Nepali to be able to surprise the clerks at a local convenience store. It’s already lead to some interesting interactions. It started with a clerk who was very reluctant to accept a tip of any kind when I bought lottery tickets.

Today, I was reminded of the interconnectedness of… well… everything.

I went to a local thrift store in search of a lamp I could disassemble, paint, and repurpose. Within 10 seconds, I found an interesting lime green children’s lamp, one with an ornate inset lampshade. Looking around, nothing else drew my eye. Getting into the long line to checkout, a woman stood in front of me with an adorable little brown-eyed girl. A minute later, another woman walked up to talk to the woman in front of me. She then stepped behind me. I turned and said, “Please go in front and stand with your friend. There’s no hurry here.” I wasn’t sure how much English she spoke, so I gestured dramatically. She thanked me and did so. The first woman turned and said something I didn’t understand. On a whim, I said “How are you?” in my weird accent in Nepali. Her eyes lit up and she rattled off something really long. I pulled my mask down and smiled, telling her that “How are you” was the only phrase I knew well. The little girl looked up at me and smiled. I said, “Hello” to her and although she did a little dance when I spoke to her, she then turned shyly away.

I wasn’t sure if the universe was trying to tell me that Nepali is in my future or if I needed to expand my narrow range a bit further.

Paying for the lamp, I asked if the clerk could take the ornate shade and resell it. “Yes! Thank you.” She then asked what I was going to do with the lamp base. The man behind me listened and said, “Well, that’s interesting.” So we all spent a few moments chatting. The clerk asked me if I sold the things I made. I laughed. I did appreciate the implied compliment though.

On the way out, the young man who’d been standing in the front calculating the cost of the few items he had temporarily placed on a table was still thinking. I put a $10 bill on the table and lied. “Someone gave this to me accidentally. It’s yours.” He looked confused – just long enough for me to hastily walk away and out the doors before he could respond.
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…different topics…
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I channeled my anxiety into overcoming the illusion that I couldn’t do more than 1,111 pushups today. Doing 500 by 6 a.m. signaled that it would be stupid to waste the opportunity. Lying in the bed and on the floor last night, sleepless, I knew I should have jumped up and gone outside to greet the Wanderer. Had I done so, today would have been a normal pushup today.
Now, though? I broke my record again. I’d like to thank the academy, my pushup obsession, as well as lingering anxiety for making it all possible.
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I bought an outside light for my apartment door today. Opting against anything too interesting due to the likelihood of surprises ‘under the hood,’ so to speak, I didn’t want to risk buying a waterfall or prism light. After cleaning and disassembling the children’s lamp I purchased, I loosened the outside light screws. They were just screwed into the vinyl siding without a circuit box. Not exactly a surprise. A couple of days I’d seen a wasp go behind the light base into the vinyl. I used my sprayer to douse the area. Prior to loosening the screws, I pounded on the vinyl 2-3 feet in every direction, just to be safe. I stood on my upside-down Home Depot bucket. Just as I pulled the wires out, several wasps angrily swarmed out. They weren’t saying “Hello.” They were saying, “You’re dead, _______!” How I avoided getting stung is a good question. I swatted as I jumped off the bucket. I hit a couple and knocked them to the wood decking. After a few seconds, the remaining ones flew off. Though I value life, I stomped the daylights out of those I’d somehow stunned by hitting them with my hand.

I sprayed more insecticide into the hole around the wires. While I waited, I gave the lamp parts a second coat.

As I did, the hummingbirds came within two feet of me, watching, and then darting slightly up to the hummingbird feeder to grab lunch. They chatted and cheeped at one another as they did so.

I made homemade pizza; instead of sauce, I used Wickle’s hoagie spread. It’s hotter than a mom’s temper after a missed curfew, but delicious. I put the laundry in the machines down in the dungeon disguised as the laundry area for the apartments.

Sometime in the last few minutes, my prisms have washed the deck with several hundred little rainbow dots. The wall with the terrible light fixture is awash in them.

I’m going to go turn the power off now. I’ll change the horrible inside switch and put the new fixture outside.

I’ll let you know if the wasps even the score. If you hear screaming, it’s me.

Love, X

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