July 19, 2012

Granola {Part II}

My dirt driveway dipped and I had to jiggle the key in the lock more than I remembered. The sun met me when I finally walked through the front door. Warm and golden. I opened the slider door and stood on the back deck listening to the river. The river was calm that morning. I was calm.

I went back inside to call my mom and let her know that I had arrived safely. A tiny spider ran across the kitchen counter top. I grabbed a piece of newspaper from the nearby box of dishes and whisked it into the sink, turned on the water, and watched it go down the drain. My phone call still had not gone through. Cell phone service would definitely be a problem here. I already knew that, but I thought with two bars of service in my kitchen I would still be able to place a call. I moved out to the back deck. Dialed again. Again the call failed to go through. My first wave of panic moved through me.

Thankfully, it moved through me and out of me. More annoyed than anything, I grabbed my phone and my keys and headed back to my car. I knew I had cell service at the small grocery store three miles down the road. I would call my mom and let her know I arrived safely and I would call the cable company to let them know not to call my cell phone upon arrival. My service was spotty at best, but my calls went through. I carefully explained the situation to the cable company and told them I would be back to my apartment in less than ten minutes. “Just don’t call my phone to make sure I am there because my cell doesn’t get service. Please tell the service people that I am definitely home.” I put my sunglasses on and drove home. Home, I drove home.

I decided to unpack a few of my boxes already in the apartment while I waited for the cable company to arrive. I unpacked two boxes, located my landline-phone, moved my furniture around, and plugged in my cell phone. It was the only clock I had and searching for service was quickly draining the battery. The cable company was ten minutes past the two-hour window they had given me. A second wave of panic swept through me. I forced it out, grabbed my keys, and headed for the grocery store parking lot.

I called the cable company. The call went through on the third try. “Ma’am, we called you to make sure you were at your residence and there was no answer. We were within our two hour window.” I took a deep breath and calmly explained that I had asked for a note to be placed in my file not to call my cell phone number. The customer service representative said the men were still in the area and asked if I could provide a landline they could call prior to arriving at my apartment. I explained that the phone and cable installation I scheduled was due to the fact that I did not have a phone. I wondered how rude it would be to add “duh” to the end of that sentence. I refrained and gave myself a point towards adulthood. She told me not to worry about it, she would tell the men to just go to my apartment and note in my file not to call first.

I drove back to my apartment in silence. “The men” would arrive within the hour. I stopped unpacking. I sat on my back deck in the afternoon sun. I wanted to call my mom. I wanted to send out a can-you-believe-this email to a few of my friends. I just sat. And listened to the river.

“The men” never arrived. I drove to the grocery store parking lot again. I called the cable company again. I got a different customer service representative again. The representative told me they tried to call me before they arrived at my apartment and received no answer. Again. I asked with a flat tone if we could try it all again. This time without the phone call. He said no. “The men” were no longer in the area. I needed to schedule another appointment. For a week and a half later. I hung up the phone without saying another word.

I got back to my apartment as the sun began to set. It cast unfamiliar shadows on my wall. It would be my first night alone in my apartment and I felt very, very alone. A third wave of panic swept through me. I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t push it out. I worried it would drown me. Before the sun sank any lower, I grabbed my keys and sprinted back into my still-fully-packed car. I sped out of my driveway and bottomed out on the steep incline. The sound of the packed dirt against the bottom of my car echoed in my ears the entire way back to CT.

[To Be Continued...]

[Disclaimer: I always have difficulty determining how much of "the story" is mine to tell. This series on my year in Vermont is my version of the year. I am erring on the side of caution to not tell the stories of my friends who journeyed through the year with me. Names, places, details, etc have been changed or omitted for the privacy of the people I care about - and yes, I care about all of them. It's a bit of an old story, really. Most of their journeys have taken them down paths (in Vermont, out of Vermont, some having never set foot near Vermont) that make that year only a distant memory. It is for me, too. But it's such a good memory - a full, rich, important memory - that I want to share my part of the story here.]

1 comment:

  1. Ugh that is so annoying about the cable company. I'm in suspense about what happens next