Monday, August 13, 2007

Let Me Take You Through My Weekend

No softball on Saturday. The games were called because the fields in Bloomfield, New Jersey were under water. Odd in that every time we've played in Bloomfield this season there were puddles the size of trout hatcheries in the infield but the games were on. Ironically, Saturday was a beautiful summer day. Just gorgeous. And with a day to kill, I decided to pay a visit to the Baron down in Chestnut Hill. The Baron took me on a tour of his recent finds in his new neighborhood, including Mount Airy and West Mount Airy, and some of his favorite stately homes of Chestnut Hill. (In Chestnut Hill, stately homes are legion. Alas, not a modern in the lot.)

I bid adieu to the Baron and headed home at 7:30. I had to make dinner for my dad, and I didn't want it to be a late night.

The next day, as planned, I met up with my brother and sister-in-law at church. The padre was just back from his summer vacation, which seems to have improved his preaching some. Coffee hour, of course, was like old home week. I split out early because I had some grocery shopping to do, and we met back at the Ol' Homestead for vegan key lime pie on the porch. (The recipe I used rocked. Rather than lime juice and sugar, I just used some of the syrup I made for my lime-ade. That worked out really well because I could just keep adding until I got the flavor I was looking for. And the vegan key lime pie was a huge hit, even with the non-vegans.

Family hit the road, and I got started on the prep work. I was having people over.


Four years, and finally I get to host a party.

From start (walking up Tollgate Road, scissors in hand, collecting wildflowers and such for an arrangement on the table) to finish (loading up the dish washer), it's just like breathing. I know it all by heart. All the tricks I've developed over the years (put a dish on the table for everything you plan to serve and that way you won't leave anything untouched in the refrigerator).

When the gang arrived, after a day spent at the Raven, I had the whole spread ready. We chatted and ate and drank. My dad made an appearance, poking his head out the door to introduce himself. When I decided the time was ripe, I lit a fire in the Weber, added coals and hickory chips I'd soaked in water. First I grilled the vegetables, then the steaks. Then we ate. More talking as the light left us.

And then, at my suggestion, we all headed out to the garage. Work to be done. My five guests were all over my cage like maniacal elves. It was together in no time. I really have a great cage. Although it's a huge cage.

I love my cage.

Once the cage was assembled, we headed out to see if we could get a good view of the Perseid meteor shower. For once, there was no cloud cover. But, it seems, the Perseid meteor shower ran into some unaccountable delay, maybe making a left at Ceres instead of a right. After stargazing until the bugs started to get to one of us without any payoff, we headed back, and the gang got on the road. I loaded up the dishwasher, then took Faithful Companion out for his walk. At this point, maybe twent minutes later, the Perseids might have been going full bore, but clouds had moved in (!) and not even Sirius was visible. (Sirius, the Dog Star, is once again in the skies. Because we generally get the hottest weather of the summer when Sirius reappears, these are known as the Dog Days.)

I did some more cleaning up the kitchen and the porch. It's no fun cleaning up after a party, but it's even worse the next morning.

And then I couldn't stop myself.

I headed out to the garage. Standing in the doorway, I clicked on the light, and there it was: my cage.

Shiny and black. Pentagonal with circular plywood top and bottom. Almost five feet high and almost six feet across.

I climbed up on top and laid down, looking at the ceiling.

It wasn't hard to imagine that beneath me, the cage had an occupant. Maybe one of the choicer Starbucks boys.

A cage is all about psychology. He's in there until I decide otherwise. And he doesn't know how long that will be. how hot would it be to just pull up a chair, light up a cigar, and watch a man under lock and key? A powerful man, rendered powerless. To put a man in a cage is sort of the ultimate in objectification, in that you're literally turning him into an object. Whoever and whatever he is, now he's your captive.


I have a cage.

Right out there in the garage, with the tractor, my boxspring and mattress, a non-functioning refrigerator, and the dreaded white Ford Taurus.

My cage.

I went to bed early last night, because I had job interview this morning.

I wasn't expecting much. The add in the paper didn't say to fax or email my resume, it just said to call. I called, and without any questions, I was told to show up at this place in Downingtownhamvilleburgton at 9 a.m. and bring my driver's license and Social Security card.

Say wha'?

I was pretty sure this was a scam. One of those, "We're looking for Senior Managers and you could earn $150,000 a year and you'd be perfect but before you start your new career as our Senior Manager you have to take our four week training course and it only costs $250 and we'll refund that after you pass our training course" kind of deal. To make matters worse, Downingtownhamvilleburgton is a hike. It's fifty miles from me and there's no easy way to get there.

I figured if nothing else, it would be good interview practice.

I got it wrong.

It was a great job.

In fact, it was the same job that I applied for a couple of weeks ago but didn't get, project manager for a place that did emergency renovations. And even though it's in Downingtownhamvilleburgton, if I were to get the job, I would be provided with a Company Truck to drive.

It doesn't get much better than that: I get to drive a truck, but I don't have to pay for the gas. Plus, I'd love that job and I'd be really good at it for all the reasons I would have loved and been really good at that job from three weeks ago. And the interview went well, and it seemed like the guy I interviewed with liked me. So we'll see.

Let's pause for a moment and take stock of the Job Search. Interviewed with and waiting to hear from the welding job. Interviewed with and waiting to hear from this new Project Manager job. Got applications in with the County of Bucks to be a Corrections Officer, a college down by Trenton, and to be an assistant fundraiser at a... ummm... local museum.

No one should have to work this hard.

And tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm finally heading down to check out that Day Laborer deal.

Looking for work is sure a lot of work.

But once I find a job, I'll be able to turn my attention to finding a man to spend some time in my cage.

1 comment:

--'bastian said...

Grrrrrr, big metal....cage..... :)

I still have my fingers crossed for the job search, SIR!