First, sad news. Sweetie Pie, the 12-year-old cat I inherited from my mother in January, has gone to that Rainbow Bridge. I don’t know about anybody else, but from my life alone, it’s getting pretty damn crowded over there. I’m about done with that shit.
Shattered? Yeah, kinda. Just another reminder that nothing good lasts as long as you hope it will, and that gone is forever.
Sweetie Pie got cancer of the everything, and went so far downhill while we were waiting for the bloodwork and diagnosis, the same day they told me, I took her in to be released.
She always fights me when I put her in the carrier but yesterday morning I opened it and she walked right in. Now she’s in the back with all our other furbabies.
Tipper seems to be doing fine, but I’m keeping a close eye on him.
Today is Thursday Doors, and I have a beauty for you as part of today’s story. Today’s door is on a barber and styling shop in the heart of Corydon, Indiana. I heard the shop was going to be demolished, but I sure hope not, because I love this little place. The door, itself, is nothing to write home about, but it’s set into a corner of the building, with a window set into the other corner, and I am all about corner insets.
Julie of Story A Day prompts us to finish the month by writing about someone finishing a grand project. It is not, alas, autobiographical.
Work, For the Night is Coming
by Marian Allen
In the flush of receiving her first five-figure royalty check, Jacinta decided she needed an office. She could go there every day, research and write from 9-5, come home, and goof off without feeling like she ought to be working.
“Do I bother you too much?” her husband, Mateo, said. He telecommuted to his consulting job, so he was home all day.
“It isn’t that,” she said, although it was exactly that. “I get distracted at home.”
“I do, too. We want to fix something special for lunch, or need to plant the garden, or it’s a beautiful day for a walk in the woods…. I know. That’s a problem. But I’d still rather work at home than in an office.”
She wanted to say, That’s because you answer to other people, even though your hours are flexible. Nobody is going to fire me if I don’t write a story that sells; I just won’t have a story to sell. I’m not on anybody else’s clock, so you feel like you can interrupt me any time. And I don’t insist that you don’t interrupt, because sometimes I need a break, and sometimes I don’t want to do something hard and you give me an excuse to stall.
But she didn’t say it out loud. It wasn’t Mateo’s fault she didn’t know how to set boundaries on her creative process.
She said, “I’m thinking I could rent an office for a few months and try it out. Maybe I could get into the habit of being more businesslike and efficient about my writing.”
Mateo laughed, because she wrote fantasy. He loved her work and was deeply impressed by it, but she had to admit it did sound funny to want to ….
Elves in three-piece suits and power ties. Oh! Seasonal fairies as migrant workers! Illegal immigrants? Border patrols? She grabbed a notebook and started scribbling. Mateo tiptoed away.
“I thought you were only going to rent office space for a few months.”
Jacinta and Mateo stood across the street from the two-story building with the twenty-foot-square footprint. Vinyl-clad, with odd, corner-set doors, it looked both old and new at the same time. A red, white, and blue revolving pole and a plaque proclaimed it to be a barber and styling shop.
“They were going to tear it down and expand the parking lot,” she said. “They don’t want much for it. There’ll be money left over from the royalty check.” She wasn’t asking his permission, but they had always pooled their income, and had always run big-ticket purchases by one another as a matter of courtesy.
“What are you going to do about the barber shop?”
Jacinta blinked, surprised that he hadn’t followed the same mental pathways as she had, to get where she was in her thinking.
“My office will be upstairs, next to the shop’s office” she said. “With a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. I don’t think I could work in a totally quiet place. The barber shop will be the barber shop.”
“And you’ll own it?”
“They’ll rent the space to it, just like the people who own the building now.”
Mateo regarded the shop for a moment, then said, “Huh.” He smiled at her and kissed her on the forehead. “I like the building. I like the business. Did you know my grandpop was a barber?”
“No! Tell me about that.”
They strolled away for a celebratory lunch in town while Mateo provided Jacinta with more story material.
Jacinta hugged the thought of their coming purchase to her heart. This book was selling beyond what anybody had hoped. This book, this quarter. But nothing good lasts forever, and she might never have another book that did so well, might never sell another story. The little building was guaranteed income at best, an investment to sell later at worst.
And, if she got stuck for ideas, she could go down to the shop and listen to some stories. Then she could go home to Mateo.
Ignoring her own reason for buying the shop, she thought, And they lived happily ever after.
Thursday Doors is the brain-child of Norm Frampton, photographer extraordinaire. Visit his site, enjoy his wonder photographs, click on the blue frog link, and enter a world of doors.
MY PROMPTS TODAY: Someone at the end of a big project, the little barber shop in Corydon.