When the furnace cracked, the CO2 levels in the attic reached a level that actually seeped onto the/our second floor. This explains the sore throat and the headaches! The furnace was turned off and “red tagged” by the gas company – and so we were without a furnace from Friday morning to sometime Monday afternoon (today).
Join me, won’t you, as I think back to summer, to the bus stop on a warm day that required neither furnaces nor large amounts of cash…
I am standing at the corner of 24th and Nicollet, waiting for the bus. I have just left George’s house.
Minnesota has days – made all the more precious for how clearly delineated they are, in the overall course of the seasons – that are perfect. The sky is a high, clear blue, the temperature is comfortable, the humidity at neither science-experiment-hair nor at frizzed-tropical. The sun will go down soon, and the light is warm and tinted.
I stand with my face to the sun. A sweet season made sweeter by its brevity, I close my eyes, feel the sun settling on my eyelids, pressing on the top of my head, my hair. I feel wonderful, sophisticated. In a charcoal pencil skirt, a salmon, belted knit top, my pointiest heels, I feel put together, I feel “city” in the best possible way.
I feel someone staring.
I open my eyes to see a man in front of me. He is wearing baggy sweatpants and a tee-shirt advertising a 5K run held at a golf course in 1997.
He smiles at me, and I smile back.
“Mama, you lookin’ good today. You comin’ from work?”
He nods appreciatively. “Oooh, mamacita, you no eat more, you no eat less. You is perfect, right now. Total respect.”
I laugh politely, pull my phone from my purse.
Two minutes until the bus comes. I look up the street – and there it is, maybe three blocks away.
The man is pressing his hair down with his hands, tucks his tee-shirt into the elastic of his sweatpants. “So where you stayin’ now?”
I tell him that I live in Minneapolis, with my husband.
“You geev me your number, right? We go to the park, sit and talk. Total respect, you gnome sayin?”
I frown. What did he say about a gnome?
“I want to geet to know you, gnome sayin’?”
Now I gno what he’s sayin’.
I smile at him.
And the bus pulls up.
The door opens and I step toward it, second in line.
“You know where to find me,” he calls out. There is a slight pause. “Mm-mm-mmm,” he says, almost contemplatively. “You eat no more, no less. You is my perfect woman right now, mama.”