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.
If you liked this story, you might like my other stories and my novels. Support an author: buy a book and leave an Amazon review. I thank you, and my cat thanks you.
Dan AntionMay 31, 2018 at 9:02am
So sorry to hear about Sweetie Pie. It’s so sad when the leave us.
Marian AllenMay 31, 2018 at 1:14pm
Thanks, Dan. Yeah, There’s never a good time for it, is there?
John HoltonMay 31, 2018 at 9:58am
First, I’m sorry about Sweetie Pie. Those little buggers get their claws into your heart and tear it up when they go, don’t they?
When we lived in Chicago, there were a few buildings that had this type of entrance. Most of them used to be taverns, at least in our neighborhood.
Marian AllenMay 31, 2018 at 1:16pm
I wonder if this little building was ever a tavern? It’s awfully small, but I guess it might have been one with a bar, no tables. That would be a cool history! I’ll have to ask around. 🙂
Alicia Butcher EhrhardtMay 31, 2018 at 12:39pm
I’m so sorry about Sweetie Pie – and I’m not even a cat person. Do you suppose she was pining so hard for your mom that she needed to join her? I’ve always believed, in little children fashion, that if you need your pets to be happy in Heaven, they will be there.
I know how much YOU needed her, and wanted her to be happy with you, and get along with Tipper, so I am very sorry for your loss. But you made her life as sweet as you possibly could for her final time, and that will give you some comfort.
Marian AllenMay 31, 2018 at 1:23pm
Sweetie Pie was always more my cat than Mom’s. When Mom got Ozzie, she favored him over Sweetie Pie because he would sit on Mom’s lap. I liked Sweetie Pie better, and she liked me. Mom said Sweetie Pie would sit on my chair when I wasn’t there, or would stand and stare at it as if I would magically appear. When I came down to visit in the evening, Sweetie Pie would sit at my feet or jump up on my coat on the couch and curl up there. So, no, I don’t think Sweetie Pie pined away for Mom. She just got the damned cancer, which doesn’t give a rat’s ass WHO loves you.
But I do take comfort in having made her life as pleasant and untraumatic and love-filled as I could, and that I let her go as soon as I got the diagnosis. She didn’t suffer one hour longer than she had to. The vet actually thanked me when I chose to let her go, rather than putting her through an ultrasound and exploratory surgery and all that. We take what comfort we can find, don’t we?
Alicia Butcher EhrhardtMay 31, 2018 at 2:36pm
Same as I feel about CFS. This sounds doubly hard for you, and doubly hard to do the right thing.
I remember Meyer’s Law (Travis McGee’s economist sidekick in John D. MacDonald’s novels that I love): The hardest thing to do is the right thing. I think it applied to ethical and moral dilemmas, but I’ve always remembered that. Wish I could hug you. Glad she was with you.
joeyMay 31, 2018 at 7:43pm
Well I’m saddened about Sweetie Pie. That was fast, and I’ve been in similar circumstance. I know we did the right thing. Damn. Fuck Cancer.
I know two women who ‘work from home’ out of an office they let away from home. One cause kids, one cause husband very much like this scenario.
I know and am very fond of a Mateo, so I enjoyed seeing that name.
Is good lil excerpt.
pm labergeJune 1, 2018 at 5:14am
Awwww….. Very sorry to hear about Sweetie Pie, who had become a fixture in your stories and our hearts. I hope you and Tipper will take care of each other. One of the stories of Rainbow Bridge is that all our little friends look out for us from there. I have no idea if this is true.
“c” has ravaged my family, too. Mikael and I do not even give “c” a capital letter. It is THE enemy. And now has taken another away. (I viewed Sweetie Pie as a sort of “cousin cat”.) That sucks…. Well, take care. You did the best you could under the circumstances. Proud of you.
Good little story! I love that little building! I studio there is a good idea.
Hugs, kisses, tears, and hopes.
Take care of Tipper.
Mssg to Tipper: Tipper, you are the only cat now. You must rise up to your duties. You have no assistance. It is ok, for you are brave and strong and smart. I am sure you will take care of your human. Take care and LLAP, my feline cousin. If the job were easy, they would not give it to a cat.
Marian AllenJune 1, 2018 at 9:01am
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 I cannot heart this comment enough. Thanks, dear friend.
Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EAJune 1, 2018 at 3:30pm
Sweetie Pie decided her time was up (hence her walk unaided to the corral…)
May we all have the dignity, the smarts, and the recognition when it’s time.
Marian AllenJune 3, 2018 at 8:47am
Amen, Dr. Ackerman!
jean reinhardtJune 1, 2018 at 5:51pm
Poor Sweetie Pie, sorry to hear that, Marian. That lovely old building is so nice, I hope it stays intact.
Marian AllenJune 3, 2018 at 8:48am
I hope it does, too. I love it!
DeborahJune 1, 2018 at 7:26pm
I’m so sorry to hear about Sweetie Pie Marian.
I do like that this post had a happy ending. I really enjoyed the story, and hope the building stays!
Marian AllenJune 3, 2018 at 8:49am