I am coming to the end of the Macedonian occupation. Yesterday the Great God Pan, also known as my building foreman, Panos, appeared unexpectedly at my door flourishing an affidavit form that had been inflicted on him by yet another Myrmidon of the county bureaucracy and asking if I was free at that very instant to hurtle off to get it notarized. It appears that in order to get an electrical outlet installed, not only does he need to get a permit but, not being himself a licensed electrician, needs authorization from the homeowner to pull the permit to cover whatever qualified person he does hire to do the work. For this he paid them seventy-nine dollars.
I filled in my name and various other bona fides, shod myself and got to his car just in time for him to extrude whatever clutter had been occupying the passenger seat. I couldn’t talk fast enough to tell him that I could get him out of my ‘hood the back way before he had already pulled up to my corner; when I explained, he gunned the car into reverse and cruised backward down the block to the next intersection.
“I used to drive in Egypt,” he said. I told him how to get past the traffic bottlenecks to the main road and then just put my head down, fairly certain that my last hour had come but reminding myself that he does this all day long, every day. I don’t think he used a turn signal once. It took me two hours after he dropped me off to stop hyperventilating.
The electrician showed up late in the day, around six. He was much more laid back. I have an outlet on my front house wall now, making me feel like a full citizen. He still has to come back and put the cap on though. This is how things have been going as the project nears an end.
I have a screened porch, and the porch has a roof and railings, but it doesn’t have doors, so I’m trapped in the house if one cat is in the living room and the other is on the back sunporch, because I refuse to open any door communicating directly with the outside if a cat can shoot through it. Been there, done that, suffered the anxiety and performed the flying tackles. So I can only, at this moment, take a picture through the front window:
The doors have to be custom sized because I am that cantankerous thing, a customer who wants exactly what she wants, not some standard design, and these will be swing doors patterned on my old porch that open inwards no-hands for tottering clients using canes or me with a full load of groceries, but stop cold on the outswing to prevent feline escapes. The carpenter will still have to tweak them. He seems to look forward to it. As for Panos, who could be a poster boy for ADHD, he may or may not have ordered them. They will arrive when they arrive, probably some morning next week about eight when I am in the shower.
Eventually I’ll be able to leave the house without herding cats again.