This episode is dedicated to The Lovely and Talented Miss Toni Silver, who I looked up to all through High School and still do. You brought down the house. And still do.
Someone was banging on my door. Loudly. And calling my name.
I was pretty exhausted from the night before at Dog’s birthday party, staying out much later than my usual self-imposed 8pm curfew. I had so much fun it had been hard to go to sleep. I had slept well and wanted nothing more than to continue to sleep, so even with the noise of the calling and the banging and the banging and the calling…
I listened to the voice and in an instant, I knew who was at my door. My heart stopped and I was wide awake and terrified.
I don’t know how she found me. It had been years – decades – that I had seen her and I thought I had left her far behind, in NY. Actually, I thought she was dead.
Somewhere between packing the boxes to move to Florida, and then packing the boxes to move from Florida, somewhere putting the boxes on the POD and taking some of the boxes out of the POD, somewhere between the Tiny Trailer and The Little House From Hell, one of those boxes must have broken open and let her out.
And there she stood, on my steps, just behind the security door I had paid to have adjusted so it actually locked, of the Little House From Hell.
And she was wearing the same dress I had worn to Dog’s Birthday Party at the bowling alley.
“Open the door.”
So I did.
And she came in and looked around. And by looked, I mean poked. She looked in my bedroom closet and kitchen cabinets and the medicine cabinet in my bathroom with the terrific water pressure.
She sat on my love seat, the only piece of furniture I had taken out of my POD when I first moved into The Little House From Hell after I had quickly realized that I would once again have to move. Somewhere else.
And she smiled and said simply, “Welcome back.”
And that’s when I knew. I knew why she was here, in my living room, in The Little House From Hell. I knew why she was wearing my dress, the same dress I had worn to Dog’s Birthday party at The Montrose Bowling Alley.
I walked to the recently repaired security door and grabbed the handle.
“Not this time.”, she said.
And she meant it.
It had been a long time since we met. I had almost forgotten her. I thought she was dead. I thought I had killed her. And buried her. And moved on.
But she, apparently, was not dead. Nor had she forgotten me.
And she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I’ve written this part of my story about 7 or 8 times, trying to make it funny or more amusing, at least to me. Maybe even 10.
But it just wasn’t.
It was scary and terrifying to meet your calling again, after so many, many, many years. Scary still that she refused to leave, like she had done so many times before.
It was a long, long day and an even longer night. It was agony.
For so many reasons, some of them quite valid, I didn’t want to go back into a profession that I had once loved so much and had broken my heart so many times.
And at 60, I just wasn’t sure I had the stamina to try again.
Or the heart or the spirit. After Florida, I didn’t have much left in me to give to anything. And I was tired of giving so much to things that gave back so little.
But that’s the problem with a calling. It never stops, well… calling.
Until you answer.
Until that answer is yes.
Somewhere between putting on the dress I had made, with the weird pattern and the satin lining. somewhere between Dog’s Birthday party at the bowling alley and the ride home, somewhere between that yesterday and the next day, I reviewed my options.
I had none.
I wasn’t sure what the future would bring, or where I would end up, but I knew I was headed somewhere.