I’m sort of fried this morning — I will be entertaining guest posts, if any of you dreams of starring at ATH (your name in lights. Or at least in WordPress!) — because we’re trying to get house ready for sale by my surgery date on March 16th. (It’s not that there is anything major wrong with the house, but there are myriad little unsightly things. My younger son said “Can’t we wait to paint till we have an offer? If the buyer wants it painted, then we paint!” I had to explain the process of attracting a buyer. Forgive him Lord, he’s an engineer.)
So… Here I am packing and putting away excess books, and moving furniture to clean behind, and somewhere in the middle of this, the writer brain complains. And starts making up carp.
See, we’re cheap (As I’ve said before — right? — writer and mathematician money only goes so far, even if the mathematician’s money is steadier) so instead of buying moving boxes to store books, etc, for … well, probably a year? — we’re watching craigslist ads and rushing out to grab boxes.
Unfortunately these boxes come with names and notations (actually as a side note, I found out why they are so expensive. These boxes have notations of three moves, and some of the boxes that are recycled — Amazon, sharper image, etc, are from as far away as IL.)
There is a set of boxes that’s labelled Stormie. Her brother has a perfectly normal name, Ethan, and I kept wondering why name a girl Stormie. No, look, I understand creative naming and what have you, but teen girls? Stormy enough, don’t encourage it.
I was thinking about it, and suddenly, there she was. You know, Stormie.
There she was, in the coffee shop, dressed head to toe in black leather. It couldn’t be anyone else. A beautiful face, the kind that could have posed for an angel in a renaissance painting, but it was framed in wild, black hair.
She wore too much makeup but not in a way that said “hey baby, baby.” More in a way that said “My mascara warns you I have a knife collection. And I don’t mean for cooking.”
I siddled into the seat opposite hers, feeling sheepish. She barely looked up from her double espresso extra grande. There was a tear tattoo at the corner of her right eye.
“Stormie?” I asked. “Stormie Jones?”
“Yeah. You tell me what to rub out, I rub it out.”
I clear my throat “Er… are you sure? It’s a difficult job.”
“Look, Mister, my parents named me Stormie. My brothers are Ethan and Alan, and my sister is Lilly, but I’m Stormie. You grow up with an eighties song being sang at you, you grow tough. No job too difficult. I want to rub things out, see?” Suddenly I realized she was smoking, as she stubbed her cigarette on the table. I looked around nervously. I didn’t think you could smoke at starbucks, much less burn their tables.”
I really needed the job done. “Er…” I said. “Then, well, on Wednesday.” I pass the address card to her. “Here at three pm, for the price agreed.”
She looks at the card and sneers. “I will be there.” She pockets the card and swaggers out.
I watch her walk away and think, “Surely this is too big a production for hiring a cleaning lady. But I really need that dirt scrubbed out.”
— and now you know that if you put up a craigslist ad for free moving boxes, you should add “Not to writers. Not under any circumstances!”