Sunday, June 25, 2006
Après le deluge, moi
What an down/up/down day yesterday. First there was a thunderstorm that rolled through the area and took out a bunch of power lines, phone lines, and the DSL connection to everyone who lives on this hill. Monsieur was on the phone with ATT/SBC who insisted on telling him to try turning off the modem and turning it back on again. He had them on speaker phone.
“It’s not the modem, please, I’m telling you,” he pleaded. “There is a switch, that was struck by lightning. It is at the end of our road, on the pole. I can smell the burning plastic. It needs to be replaced.”
“We’re going to have to put you on hold let our line service check that out; meanwhile, please stay on the line.”
A minute later a different service tech was on the line. “It looks like the problem is in the line somewhere.”
“Yes,” Monsieur said patiently. “I think you’ll discover that a pole was struck by lightning.” He gave the tech the pole number, described the equipment that was burned away, and offered to climb up the pole and replace it himself if he could just pick up the replacement part. He sounded to me like he knew what he was talking about.
“We’ll send a service technician by on Monday,” said the tech. “Will someone be there in case we need to come in the house?”
“You don’t need to come in the house,” Monsieur said, “because the pole that was hit is a half mile away.”
“We need to arrange a time that someone will be there; your choices are from 8 AM to noon, from noon to 4 PM, or from 4 PM to 8 PM,” the tech replied.
“Fine,” Monsieur said with a sigh. “Someone will be here from 8 AM to noon.”
So I’m on a dial-up today.
The rain also meant that the horseback riding trip we planned with the boys was canceled. The were bummed – so was I, actually – but there wasn’t anything that could be done. Trail riding down a limestone basin in the rain could be deadly with young kids.
We also had our sitter H come over, so that Monsieur and I could go out to eat. The boys like her, but Bigglest Boy looked her over.
“What’s that thing on your leg?” he asked.
“It’s a tattoo,” she said. “See? It’s a raven. Do you like it?”
“No,” he said, “you should wipe it off.”
“I can’t,” she said. “It won’t come off. It’s permanent.”
“Well, don’t let it get near me,” Bigglest Boy said.
We left and headed to this tiny Irish restaurant way out on a country road, in a house that didn’t even look like it was a restaurant. We had potato soup and split a rack of lamb with bread crumbs stuffing on it, and a bottle of wine. Before I had a second glass, I whispered to him, “Are we going to make love tonight? I need to know before I get too drunk.”
“I don’t know,” he smiled. “I’m rather tired, and I don’t think you would enjoy it as much as if I were fully rested.”
I poured myself another glass, hoping he was wrong anyway. We chatted about things he was working on, some of which are quite amazing. I can’t go into his work for reasons of privacy, but I can tell you that he is working on something that will protect almost every person in the world who has a bank account from being ripped off by fraud artists. It’s really cool.
There was a lull in the conversation, and I said, “Do you think I’m too young for you?”
He considered it seriously. “No. No, I don’t. A few years ago, I would have said yes. I would say that you might be too good for me, but not too young.”
“Too good?” I asked.
“No man should be as fortunate as I have been, with regard to the women whom I have been lucky enough to have accompany me, and to love my children and myself,” he replied, leaning forward and murmuring in his low baritone.
Damn, he’s good, I thought. “Well, I like that answer. You sure you’re tired?”
“Let’s go home now,” he said, “and we shall find out. But I can’t promise anything.”
“Fair enough,” I said and he asked for the check.
We were home within an hour. He got a report from H, and paid her. She wanted a hug from him, and got one. She smiled at me and headed out.
I sat next to Monsieur on the couch and kissed him for a while. He kissed me willingly, but I could sense he wasn’t going to go for it, so I said, “It’s not gonna happen, huh?”
“Are you angry with me?” he asked.
“No. I’m OK,” I assured him. “I’m glad you didn’t lead me on.”
“Do I do that?” he asked.
“Yes, you do, sometimes, and it hurts my feelings sometimes, but I let it hurt my feelings, and I shouldn’t.”
“Do you still feel guilty?” I asked him. “About me being here, after Maggie?”
He thought for a minute. “I think I will overcome that, in time. It’s my problem really, it’s not your fault and I will work it out.”
“If there’s anything I could do,” I said, “please let me help.”
We went to bed but despite the wine, or maybe because of it, I couldn’t sleep. With the DSL out getting in to Lady Ann’s was not going to be fun, so after I checked my e-mail on the dial up, I just took my vibrator into the shower and got a quick one, two, three. I rinsed off and slipped into bed next to him, listening to the rumble of thunder until I fell asleep.