August 31, 2013
I should be posing in a glitzy, cut-to-the-navel gown on the legendary Academy Awards red carpet. From May to August, my life has been one drama after another. With each drama presented me, I have risen above, unaware of what was waiting in the wings.
First was summer-school. Seeing three classes on my list, I was confident that I would be financially comfortable. Then Life overheard me. One morning, I got a call from the English Department.It was Amber, my Chair’s assistant.
“Kim, first of all, remember I’m just the messenger. Don’t shoot me.”
Uh-oh, I thought. This is not going to end well.
“Hey, Amber. What’s going on?”
“We’ve had to give your Summer I class to a full-timer when she lost hers.”
Having endured a rigorous school year with my four classes and training to teach online, I had to admit I was relieved. Besides, I had been toying with the idea of running down to Port Aransas to visit with my cousin, squish a little sand between my toes, and splash in the waves.
“Okay. My second session’s still solid, right?”
“Far as I know,” she assured me.
Great.I had just received my May paycheck and was due some rest. I messaged BeeGee on Facebook, packed up a few casual clothes, including flip-flops, for my Jimmy Buffett lifestyle, and some munchies and bottled water in a cooler and stayed three glorious days and came back with a tan and even a nipped-in waist from walking two miles on the beach in the morning.
Shortly after I returned,I received a letter from Social Security Administration, asking me to pay back $4,000 of the checks they had overpaid me. They obviously had me mixed up with someone whose bank balance is greater than her expenses. When I high-tailed it over there, a man who only half-listened to my plight handed me a waiver: a thick packet of questions asking me if I still had the money they sent me and whether I really needed my car. After stressing and stewing over that form, I asked my sweetheart who has a financial background, to walk me through the packet.
In the end, when I trounced up to the SSA with steam spewing out my ears, the lady at the computer waved the packet away and after clickety-clicking her keyboard, told me I’d be receiving my check right on schedule.
On the way out, I dusted off my hands. There, SSA. Take that
For awhile, my three-act life paused for intermission. I started back teaching, again. Life was good.
Then, around 1:30 one day, I returned from errands and was heading upstairs to get dressed for school. As I ascended the staircase, I felt water on the stair rail and looked at the ceiling where slow drops of water were dripping lazily, sluicing down the walls, and kerplunking onto my piano. After wringing my hands like a card-carrying girl, I took a picture of the stain forming above the landing and emailed it to my home-insurance company. Then I called them to be sure they got it.
“Martha, HELP!” I croaked, when she answered. After she provided the name of a reputable restoration company, I called them and was able to get someone out right then.
Well, for times such as these, I felt I should stay home, so I called in to school with instructions for the next class meeting.
Hours later, I was trying to concentrate on my school work while three fans blowing tornadic wind scared my dog and threatened to blow my house down. Later in the week, as the walls dried, the workers took the fans out. When the walls dried, the crew started repairing the leak.
With three “dragons” slain, I still had the whole month of August left. What would possibly go wrong now? On second thought, I didn’t want to know.
Appearing between each act were issues with one of my medicines and the battle between what looks good on the charts versus what actually feels best for my body. My doctor insisted on nothing less than less. the bod encasing me for sixty-some years demanded more.
Facing the last two weeks of the school term, I received an email message from Texas Wesleyan in my Outlook inbox. The question: “Would you be interested in teaching a couple of classes?”
After I made sure the email was legit, I jetted off my current vitae, a couple of references, and requested transcripts from my schools be sent to the Dean’s office. Within a week, I lined up an appointment to talk to the English Department Chair.
Now, we’re talking, I thought, smiling on the way home. One by one, I had slain the “Monsters of Summer”. My life, from here on out, should be good.
Whoa! Not so fast, Kim.
Saving the best…rather, the worst…for last,the biggest blow from out of nowhere hit me full in the face. Three weeks ago, on a Sunday evening, my sweetheart and I broke up, via Skype. Yes, Skype. And although it was the coward’s way out, I’ll have to say that if the man had been within arm’s reach, he’d have stumbled out of my house a bruised and bloodied mess. The reason he gave me for his speedy exit is grist for Dr. Phil or Lifetime Movie Network.. After lurking in the shadows for decades, good old Ex Number-Two has returned, swooping down on him like a seagull after a crumb. (Whoops! Did I really say crumb?)
Bless his helpless, pointed head. After all, what was he to do? Tell her about me?
I didn’t sleep at all, that night. And if I couldn’t sleep, I made dang sure he couldn’t, either. I texted to his phone. I messaged him on Facebook,. And I screamed. I raged. I I wept…all in the name of righteous indignation. After all, we were working on our sixth year,darn it. And only the weekend before, we’d danced to our song at our favorite club. And now this? I felt like a jilted wife.
Then, one day when my tears dried, I plotted — a whodunnit, that is. Now let’s see. Should there be one body or two? And what should I name each victim?
Good question. I’ll get back to you.