Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mistress Wife Returning

The events I relate here took place on October 30, 2007.

MW was due to arrive at the airport at 2:08. I had several hours to put to good use until then, and decided to put a dent into the huge task of the repairs that I mentioned. Our house is a three-story building. The deck outside of the room above our bedroom is at the 21-foot level above ground, which means that when I stand there I am looking down on top of some trees. First thing that I needed to do was to remove a wrought iron railing to allow access to the surface to which it was attached. I then decided to remove some of the deck coating as part of repairs. It was an impossibly difficult job using hammer and chisel. After some hours of this (on earlier days) today I had a brilliant idea of renting a floor sander to use for smoothing and leveling the floor instead of manhandling the bumps by the application of steel upon steel. The following is a shortened version of what I remember.

I returned from the rental store and dragged the badly balanced eighty-pound sander out of the back of my truck. It had wheels, so I was able to pull it up to the second floor level on the walk up path with relative ease. At the stairs to the third floor I cradled it in my arms and walked the two flights up. I huffed and puffed a bit, but was otherwise OK when I put it down on the top floor.

I installed a very coarse paper sanding disk on the 15-inch base. I plugged in the heavy duty cord, and rolled the sander through the French doors into place on the deck. This sander is basically built the same as one of those large floor polishers that one uses to make circular arc motions while advancing. Push down, it goes one way, lift up, it goes the other way, repeat… There were three switches on the handle. One to turn it on, the other two to keep it running. These other two are called “dead-man switches” for a good reason. After some experimenting I managed to figure out the sequence in which they were to be applied. Unfortunately, I had only one hand to use to hold the sander while using the other to push the primary switch.

The moment is etched into my memory. It was somewhat as in Star Trek, “energize”. I even hear the click of the switch, and see the eighty-pound sander buck then careen in a quarter circular arc into the French door which is the entrance into the room. Since the motion ripped the machine out of my hands, the dead-man switch cut off the power and allowed the machine to stop. It fell to the floor with a very respectable thump. After inspecting the damages and feeling my feet and legs for breakage I determined that (1) I am still relatively undamaged, (2) the French door is still intact, and (3) I think that I have it figured out, and will be ready for it next time. Of course, I had to remove and replace the sanding disk that got ripped to shreds in this first attempt at bump removal.

I positioned the sander with my right being at the edge of the deck from which I previously removed the rail. Left hand on the handle: check. Dead-man switch gripped: check. Primary switch: about to be pushed. I am ready. Click …

I am yanked to the right and lose contact with the handle and the deck. I am in free fall. I see the grinder a few inches from my face turning slowly, with both of us going past leaves and branches. I smell the acrid burning rubber of the sander disc and the green crunched leaves of the tree as branches snap. I hug the grinder which is the only thing moving very slowly while all else is moving fast. I am thinking that this is like in the movies. The fast moving things around me are slowing and eventually stop. I am holding the grinder, and the grinder is hanging from the power cord. I look up and see the cord slowly oozing over the edge. We are moving again slowly. And then fast. I hit the bushes below first, the grinder hits next on top of me. I wait for the pain …

All right, I promised to tell the truth, most of the truth, and nothing but the truth, so here it is: all of the above is true until the last “Click …” that is followed by the free fall episode. It could have happened. It almost happened. I was nearly over the edge when I managed to yank the flying machine back onto the deck. I just wanted to show you the kind of stuff I can and do get into. After I collected my thoughts I manhandled the grinder down the stairs and lugged it to my truck. Half our later it was back at the rental place. I will try to stick to smaller tools in the future.

By the way, if I ever again present a fantasy or shall I say, other than the reality of my experiences, I will always let you know before or after.

After retuning home I got ready to meet my MW. I expected to hug and kiss her within an hour. It was all very simple: drive to the airport, meet her at the baggage claim, hug and kiss. What could go wrong?

The drive to the airport takes about forty minutes. I arrived, parked the vehicle and took the long walk to the baggage area where we were to meet. With half an hour before her scheduled plane arrival I sat in a place where I could watch the people and get an occasional thrill seeing an attractive female walk by. Many such thrills later I checked the posting of arrivals. MW’s flight’s status was “On Time”.

At 2:08 the baggage claim section where I sat had her flight number on the display, so all seemed well. Half hour later I began to fidget and was forming thoughts that she is perhaps at another terminal and is getting very angry because I foolishly waited at the wrong terminal. But that could not be in view of the various display monitors that showed that her flight was all there and on schedule. A few minutes later I thought that I should check with the airline to find out whether she was on the fight. But I did not want to leave in case she showed up. Since she had my cell phone, I decided to use a pay phone to try to call her. I have not used one for many years, so I was a bit embarrassed when it took my fifty cents without doing anything for me in return, sort of like a slot machine. I milled around for a while, then tried again, but this time I read the instruction. Another fifty cents down the slot just to find out that her (my) cell phone was turned off. I left a message that I knew she would not get. I tried three more times with the same result. One hour after her scheduled arrival time I realized that the only reasonable action this time was for me to return home and see whatever messages she may have left on my answering machine. Thinking that I was in deep stuff with her already, that she was standing somewhere being very angry because I was not there, I did not feel good at all while driving home, speeding all the way.

There were three messages from her. The voice quality of these cell phones is barely sufficient to understand three words out of five. Adding background noise, plus the distortion offered by the recorder, I could barely understand what she was saying. Even her voice was not like I remembered. But, I was able to discern that she was still at her departure airport boarding an alternate flight whose number she did not know, and that her flight would be leaving at a time that would put it a few minutes from now. And, by the way, her cell phone is running out of juice, and this is the last time she would call.

I tried to call the airline to find out what this flight would be so that I could meet her. The single number listed in the Yellow Pages was a toll free which I called four times. Each time I was led down the numerical path to total frustration. None of the time was I able to talk to a human. I truly hate these automated electronic labyrinths. At this point my best course of action was to stay at home until she calls again from a pay phone. I tried her cell phone a number of times, but it was off.

A couple hours later she called and I answered. She arrived, and was in good spirit. I suggested a definite place for a rendezvous, and hastened to travel to the airport again to meet her in forty minutes. We made contact forty-two minutes later. She was appreciative, and even apologized for my having to go through all this trouble. I was nearly hysterical with relief.

Since neither of us had lunch, and the time was about 7PM, on the way home we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants and had a very pleasant meal together. By the time we got home, showered, and I gave her foot and leg massage, I knew that my somewhat expected end of the 31 DWO was not to be (see “Mistress Wife Is Away” posting). Still, it was wonderful to have her in bed again.

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