A paying client’s email informing me that a PAYCHECK was waiting at the office was great news coming off my earlier blog posting today. Because I was anxious to get back to what I call proto-captioning photos for The Book (Springfield Aviation by Job Conger, from Arcadia Publishing, coming soon to a bookseller near you) and I needed a coffee refill, I delayed driving over until 11:40.
Then I delayed driving over even longer.
Entering the Soggy Bottom Express in the ongoing light snow flurry was de regeur for me. Easy . . . . until the car didn’t start. All I heard was a clickety-click sound where the VROOOOM should be.
I would not be denied, and I did what any red-blooded American writer would do: I walked over to the employer’s fine office and picked up my paycheck. I call it Johnny.
<>Despite the snow, not even my ears got cold. My consolation on the way over was that I was walking against the wind (in ore ways than one) and the trip back would be easier
I am strong.
I am invinkibble.
I carry a beard.The scenery was nice. Moderate wind and marginally freezing temerature made light walk of it. In places untouched by wind, the snow was an inch deep. Elsewhere the pavement was clear but wet; no sweat.
The check was waiting on the desk as I entered, and well-esteemed publisher was in transit elsewherely down the hall.
“Hi, Job. Incredible weather out there isn’t it?”
“Hi (name). Sure is. Thanks for the check.”
These are busy times, especially around lunch hour. We have real work to do. Chatting is a zero-sum game.
Everything went fine for me and my paycheck for the first three blocks homewardly bound. I literally re-traced, on a reciprocal heading, my own footsteps in the snow. Of some concern were the decidedly chicken-toed impressions made on my way to the office. Was this the same guy who used to pride himself on his stride? who not one friend or working associate could keep up with in happier, snowless ambles? It was an ugly brush with reality.
I consciously redirected my feet to 90 degrees, due east; straightened those Florsheims right out. THAT was the man I used to be. Any ice detective happening onto mine opposing impressions would conclude that even though the shoes were the same size. they were different guys.
After crossing South Grand and making my way almost past Laurel United Methodist Church, I heard the sound I would make if I were a mugger instead of a writer, and wanted the chump walking solo, one foot in front of where I had just come out of hiding to turn around and notice me.
I turned around, expecting to be knifed in the gut by a crazed Mexican or alderman who really liked my leather jacket, stylish Florsheims and wallet. My sudden fears were unfounded.
It was a fine fellow who had just come from the church, carrying a small box of something, and had tramped his shoes against bare sidewalk to get the snow off! I must have looked as white as a white whiteguy.
He nervously laughed. “Sorry to have scared you” he said. “I was just getting the snow off my shoes.”
“No problemo. No problem,” I replied intentionally covering both lingo bases though it was obvious, in front of a Methodist church, for God’s sake, that he was a legal citizen. I’ve gotta tell you though, I emitted about a 15-second sigh after he turned toward his waiting car in the parking lot!
The rest of the trek was easy. Total distance abut eight blocks; total time 20 minutes. I was ready for frikking LUNCH!
I had places to go today. To blazes with them all except for the bank only two blocks away. I need to deposit that check.
A friend is coming over tomorrow morning to talk aviation. We can jump my battery then. The only thing that bums me is that if the substitute teacher line calls, I won’t be able to respond. If the Soggy Bottom Express is in serious disrepair, I will simply have to walk for a few days, until the rent check comes in for sure. If, as I fear from a recent envelope from my insurance people, I also must pay house insurance, I WILL pay house insurance, even if I can’t renew car insurance, double-dang it. To stay on the good side of the bank, which loaned me some big bucks, I must have house insurance. All that dire mire wallow action will NOT keep me from working on The Book, and if that means walking down-frikking-town to the frikking library and back, let it be. This book will not be denied either. And besides,
I am strong.
I carry a beard.
Live long . . . . . live dry.
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