By Sue Murphy
Everything is fine. Really, it is. But I find myself jittery at the end of the day and no amount of “Murder She Wrote” will fix it. I know exactly what the problem is: gnats.
Not actual insects, although those drive me crazy, too. I’m talking about the 1,001 teeny, tiny projects that never reach the top of the to-do list. The big projects, the squeaky wheels in my life, get done. It’s the little things, the things I can easily work around, that suffer and retaliate by sitting back in the shadows and whispering, “You still haven’t done this.”
Like right now, the clock on my kitchen wall has stopped. I can get by looking at the clock on the oven, but every time I turn the corner, there’s the big one just hanging there frozen. I need to call a clock repair person. This is completely doable and easy to add to the official to-do list if you have a working pen, which I can’t seem to find in the kitchen drawer. Not to worry, there are more in my desk upstairs. While I’m up there, I can grab glue and see about fixing the “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” book that was over-loved during the holidays and my wooden souvenir Don Quixote statue that lost his arm in a tragic dusting accident.
On top of my desk sits a card that says, “Don’t forget … it’s time for your routine car maintenance.” I know, I know. Phone call number two. There’s also a letter from my Aunt Dot that I really need to answer. You should be so lucky as to have an aunt like her and it’s not nice to keep her waiting.
Actually, my office is overrun with gnats. There’s filing that has to be done, and form-filling-out, and photos that belong in frames. There’s a stray Lego that belongs somewhere on my Disney castle, but I don’t know exactly where and I don’t have time to find it right now. I retrieve a new package of pens (Purchased on a day when I was more organized.) and come across a half-dozen empty ink cartridges that need to be recycled. I’ll put the bag in the car.
I hurry back down the stairs, past the thermostat that says, “Replace air filter,” and see a bluebird hopping around the backyard bark. If I don’t hurry up and clean out the bird house, all the breeding pairs will wind up where the homeowners will not love them half as much. I need to repair the bird feeder because some overweight squirrel snapped the bottom off. I have to cut back the frostbitten morning glory vine that is clinging to the trellis where the new shoots will need to grow.
I reach the car, which needs to be washed, but that’s perpetual. The thing that’s really driving me crazy is the three partially used gas cards in the glove compartment. They’re worth $3.43, $4.05 and $11.67, respectively and they’re not from the same gas station.
I avert my eyes going back to the kitchen because I know there are Christmas CD’s still in the changer in the living room, the couch cushions look lumpy and need a good rotation, and my mother-in-law’s tarnished coffee service is staring at me from the china cabinet. Ahem…
Gnats! They’re small and insidious and, like time, they stop for no man – unless you are a broken wall clock on the wall of my kitchen. I know, I know. I’m going to call the repair person right now. ❖