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FAINT GLOW

Waiting for Heat Repair

Not as catchy a title as WAITING FOR GODOT, but I haven't had my coffee yet. And if Godot actually shows up here, he'll be useless unless he's toting along some heating-system parts. My little floor furnace has an iffy motor. One that keeps getting stuck. So it requires replacement, of course. During the holiday season, right when every dime is needed elsewhere in gifting and getting my property taxes paid. Samuel Beckett couldn't have plotted it more elegantly. Is this a comedy?

It's not all that cold here today in New Orleans, but it's already been below thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit several nights last week, and it's sure to go there again. So I need to see this repair done soon, before Thanksgiving hits later this week and I get socked in with no more days off at my job: selling stuff in a gift/shoe store. What must be done here at Chez Harper this time of year has to be done by Thanksgiving--repairs, projects, edits, housework--or it doesn't get done at all. I'm not really a slob, I'm a sales clerk. And Christmas looms. I'm getting too old for this.

But I'm lucky. I know that. Lucky to live down here in a warmish clime, and lucky to have a job, and lucky to be able to do what I love (write) and get paid for it (sometimes). I have my health, and beloved friends both old and new, and a roof over my head, and a sense of purpose. Maybe I'm deluded, but it seems as if I matter to a few people from time to time. Which gives me a reason to get up in the morning. Besides preparing for the heating guys.

Old friends are beginning new relationships, possibly falling in love, and I value being asked for my advice or opinions about it all. As if I have anything wise to offer, but still. Others are suffering from bad health or mishaps, and I'm glad to do what I can. Because I love them. And they've always done their best for me. All kidding aside: when it comes to friendship, I'm the most blessed and fortunate person in the world. My old friends have been with me for ever, some of them since we were--like--eight or nine years old. And now there are new ones.

Two days ago, I participated as a novelist in a literary festival here known as "Words and Music", an opportunity to meet other writers and enjoy good food and wine at the Monteleone Hotel, and just talk up my book(s) and make a general nuisance of myself. It was fabulous! I had a terrific time, and nobody threw dinner rolls at me or anything. I was not booed. The authors I met are now Facebook friends, and I'm interested in all of their novels and plan to order a bunch of them on Kindle, just as soon as...

As soon as I get the heating-repair bill paid, and my property taxes. Then calculate how much money I'll have left over. But pals and gals, I WILL buy books. They're right up there with wine. Life's necessities. Something to curl up with--besides cats--on chilly nights after a long day on my feet at the store. Over a glass of Merlot, of course. Near a heat vent, where lovely hot air is just roiling up to meet me, courtesy of the heating-repair guys.

Who have yet to appear this morning.

Dammit, do I have to actually phone them again now? Beg 'em to stop by and take my money? We've had this on the calendar since last Wednesday. A whole week ago. When they never showed up, and apologized for the confusion, and said they could come on Friday (but I had to work on Friday), and I said "No, no, no--Tuesday'll be fine. I'm off on Tuesday."

Well, hell. Today's Tuesday.

Yep. This is an absurdist comedy...

But one with a happy ending? WOW, they just called. They're still out in Metairie, but are on their way.

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