Thursday, February 09, 2012


My car is still functioning, thank God, but my sewing machine is waiting for a replacement part to arrive in the mail (hopefully that will do the trick--it started malfunctioning shortly after I installed the new needle, so I changed that for another.  Then it began skipping stitches...) while twenty or so patchwork bags sit in a state of semi-completion on top of my craft room table. 

I had hoped for a good turnout for Saturday's jewelry show here at my apartment, but only two people have RSVPed positively.  Anita and I had dinner Wednesday evening and agreed that it may be a really quiet afternoon.

The hoarder who lives at the house we've been working on in Maryland had a fit this afternoon and told her husband we were venturing into her space, and that she needs another two weeks to sort through things before we return.  We have another sale that we can do meantime, but I think this particular contract is going to drag on forever, with us returning for one or two days every fortnight to do what we can, and then decamping for less mold-infested environs while scant progress is made by the high strung homeowner.  I wore my super mask (with the grey rubber gasket over the mouth and nose and two screw-in pink filters on either side--I sound a bit like Darth Vader and look like I'm fresh from the Somme in it) and worked on sorting through the workshop, which is in the basement, today.  It reminded me of my granddaddy's, full of odd broken bits, random nails and nuts, pieces of wire and string and pots of long-dried paint, cans of toxic substances, half-used sandpaper and other things.  A little over half of it was salvageable, and of that, a third was still in the packaging from the stores where it was bought.  Nine nice brass register covers, for instance.  Wiring materials.  More windshield wiper fluid than a fleet of limousines might use in a decade.  And, of course, mouse poop everywhere.  I was grateful for the mask and for the rubber gloves my mother gave me at Christmas.

After our dismissal, our estate sale team decamped to the local Starbucks, and agreed that our adventures would make an award-winning Broadway musical.  The mummified snake I removed from the basement could be one true-to-death detail, and there would be show-stopping numbers, including "I'm stuck in ready-to-wear," "Haggling," "The Crazy Client," and "The Ballad of a Bottom-Feeder."  It would feature (as in life) a broadly ethnic all-female cast, and plenty of soap-opera drama, "like Dallas in Farsi," as one of my coworkers put it today.

Speaking of drama, I had another strange dream last night.  I was dining outside at a sidewalk cafe when a man with a narrow face, deep tan and a lovely nose came up to speak to me.  I didn't notice him at first because I was focused on the pets he had on leashes: three de-scented skunks.  Two were the conventional black and white, the third was blond, and further distinguished from the others in that whereas they were totally clipped, along its spine a ridge of fur, like a russet mohawk, had been left.  This unlikely trio were nosing in the gutter on their leads, and the man looked at me and said, "I know this is odd, since you don't know me, but will you marry me?"  I did what any sensible person would do.  I laughed.  "I'm flattered by your attention," I responded, "And your pet skunks are adorable, but I have to say no.  By the way, what was your name?"  He said it was Marion, and thanked me for being direct, and that he'd seen me near the river in Georgetown.  It was all very odd.  Usually I can trace my dreams, no matter how complex, to specific triggers--I'd read this or that book, or seen that movie, or had a conversation, and there was this character, or that detail, that obviously contributed to this theme, but for this one, I haven't a clue.  Marion's name and face were both unfamiliar, not based on any real-life example, and I haven't smelled or seen any skunks lately, though I have seen a number of dog-walkers out with various grades of canines on leashes.  It was also a warm, sunny fall day in my dream, and somehow I knew that Marion was Jewish, and that he was completely serious about his proposal.  It wasn't upsetting at all, but so clear that I couldn't help but remember the whole scene in full when I awoke.

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