Last week I posted the following to my Facebook timeline:
I learned last month—and only now have recovered enough to speak of it—that my story was not selected for inclusion in a collection I’d submitted to. The odds were high enough against me that, although the news affected me, it did not crush my spirit. I may, however, pretend it did so I’ll have an excuse for seeking out and indulging in a couple of pounds of serotonin-producing dark chocolate, plus a large box of sugar cubes to keep the bitterness of the chocolate from curdling my teeth.
So many friends responded with comments and emojis of such warmth and kindness that, in addition to thanking them—Thank you, friends—I feel I should add an update.
I did not seek out chocolate. For four whole days, I did not seek it out.
In fact, I forgot about it.
Forgot to seek. Forgot why I’d thought about seeking.
Forgot until today when David said, “What do you want from the grocery store?”
Oh, yes. “Chocolate.”
“No. Maybe a peanut butter cup . . . ”
Then, remembering that Easter is icumen in: “Or maybe a Cadbury egg. But,” I said, “one Cadbury egg won’t do.”
A single egg would have sent me flying across the green space in search of a follow-up.
Dependable and then some, David returned with five Cadbury eggs.
I ate one. Then I ate another.
Two eggs for rejection of things past.
The rest I’ll polish off tomorrow, as a kind of insurance against rejection of things future.
I did not wail, Alas!, and fall to the floor in a faint. I said, Okay, I’ll send the story out again.
A fair and balanced response.
#2 was a little more difficult. I held out until the last day, weighing my options: Retreat or new chair, retreat or new chair…
Friend Emmie helped me with the decision. She said, “Listen, the chair will fall apart whether you go or not. And when it does (after you’ve gone to the retreat) you will be amused at the incident and will write a great bit on your blog which will make all the folks that read it very happy.”
I value Emmie’s advice. She knows what I want to do, and she always tells me to do it. Her justification misses the point, and I don’t know how I’ll blog, or make anyone happy, after the chair collapses and I’m buried in the rubble. But I’ll think about that tomorrow.
#3 proved more difficult. Because of street maintenance scheduled for today, David parked my car on a designated side street. I forgot to ask which side street. Wanting to use the car, I called David at work and asked where he had left it. He told me. I tramped down the street and around the corner.
The car wasn’t there, but the street had been plowed up. We hadn’t been told that street would be plowed up. We had been told to park there.
I asked two young men manning some kind of truck where they thought the car might be.
They said they were just subcontractors and didn’t know anything, but that it hadn’t been impounded, just towed somewhere else so they could plow up the street, and they were sorry. I said I understood and it was okay.
One of them gave me John’s phone number. The number bore a Fort Worth area code.
I called John and got his voice mail. I left a message. Then I tramped back to my air conditioning.
Did I mention the temperature was approaching triple digits?
John called me. He said he was just TXDOT and he didn’t know where the car was and he was sorry.
I said I understood and it was okay.
He said it was probably on Summersby.
I said, No, that’s the street we were told not to park on.
He said he was sorry but he didn’t know anything and it was definitely on Summersby.
I said Summersby is only two blocks long, and I had stood on the sidewalk and looked both ways, and the car really, really wasn’t on Summersby.
He said what kind of car was it.
I said I didn’t know, because I wasn’t sure which one my husband had taken this morning.
He said there was a blue car down on Silverdale.
I said that was my car, and thank you so much.
He said he was so sorry but he was just TXDOT.
I said I understood and it was okay.
I hung up.
As soon as I did, David called to say he had found the car on Silverdale and was driving it home.
Technically, I suppose, I didn’t really find the car. David did. But I did extensive research that produced the desired result. Except by then I couldn’t have cared less.
I had no intention of hiking down to Silverdale until Hell froze over.
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