In the time since I last posted, I have been mistaken for a ghost twice, had two cars die on me (one permanently), put in a lot of hilarious hours at the bakery, and some less hilarious ones at various libraries, visited my sister at her college (I’m still picking stick-me-tights out of my shawl, thanks, kid), read a lot of books, and watched the leaves fall.
The first time I was taken for a ghost was a good fortnight before Halloween, and it came about in this way. There’s a patch of woods behind my apartment building which I am fairly familiar with. Coming home from the grocery store at dusk one Tuesday evening, I heard loud screams emanating from it. I took my phone and crunched loudly into the woods, ready to call 911.
I froze. Do I “sneak” away (as if you can in a woods in autumn) or go say “hey, I didn’t know if you were okay, maybe don’t freak the neighbourhood out like that again”? But before I could decide, one of them shrieked in a new and different tone, “There’s a ghost! I saw a ghost!” and they all ran.
They got up to the road and stopped and the one who’d seen me explained, “It had a white shirt and long blonde hair.” The others tried to convince it that a ghost was unlikely. But they decided to investigate, and so. . . I (perhaps unwisely, in retrospect) decided to come meet them.
This led to one of the older ones shrieking, “I see it too!” but (unlike Edmund in Prince Caspian) leading the charge away from me. This time they didn’t stop until they got to their house (assuming it’s their house) on the other side of the street and shut themselves in the garage, pressed up against the window of the door.
Clearly they didn’t stop to think that a) a real ghost wouldn’t be making nearly as much noise in the leaves as I was, and b) a garage door is no obstacle to an immaterial creature, but panic doesn’t let you think like that.
The next day at the bakery I told that story, and Isaiah said, “You know, with that one story, you’ve achieved something most people spend years and years and years trying to do.” I thought, What, became a ghost? But before I could ask he said, “A reputation.”
Then a couple of weeks ago I took my dead potted plants outside at evening to dump them out, because my drawn-out fall cleaning had reached the Spare Oom, and someone who lives in my building and was out smoking just then (he must have come outside just a minute after I did) thought I was a ghost away in the trees, and told me about it when I came back in.
That was a Saturday night. The Monday following my own van died, and I worked all day. Tuesday it was confirmed permanently dead, and I worked all day. Wednesday we cleaned it out and tried to sell it to the business that had towed it, but couldn’t find the title to it, which made that hard, and I worked. Thursday I was sick, and didn’t work (this was the cat’s favourite day of that week). Friday I turned the borrowed van on to go to work, and it was dead. I got rides to and from the bakery with friends, and arranged for another ride in to the library the next morning. Saturday I was awoken by knocking on my door — it was five minutes before I should have been at work and I’d slept through my alarm. I set a new record for amount of time taken to get out the door in the morning, and was able to open the library on time, at least. While I was at work Dad put a new battery in the borrowed van and confirmed that it at least started up again.
Sunday — ah, blessed day of rest and cheer — I came home from church at lunchtime thinking the chaotic week was behind me and now I could actually clean the house. I parked the car and turned it off and a woman approached me to ask if I could help her and her friend jump their car.
“I’m pretty sure I have jumper cables in my car but I don’t know how to use them; let me call my dad,” I said. “He’s only five minutes away.”
I then listened to Dad’s phone ring until it went to voicemail. I called my mom instead. I waited while she found Dad, whom she managed to lose in the two minutes between me leaving and me calling.
Dad located, I said, “I’m not lost, I’m not stranded, I haven’t found the van title, the van got me back just fine, but there’s someone in my parking lot who needs her car jumped.” He said he would be on his way.
When he arrived, we discovered that I did not, in fact, have jumper cables in the van, neither the ones moved from the van I killed last week, nor the ones supposedly belonging to the borrowed van. He searched the vehicle he came in and discovered that, unaccountably, it doesn’t have cables either.
He called two other church members’ numbers before someone who wasn’t even on the phone said, “Yes, I know certainly that I have jumper cables in my car, and I can come over.”
At this point I gave up on things and went inside. The only chaos so far this week has come from a substantial number of people at the library being out sick.
I am still working on the Historical Entwife project — right now flatlining all the separate gardecorps pieces, though I have the two hood pieces finished enough that last night I started sewing them together. It’s the first time I’ve lined anything and that part is getting a bit tedious, but I’m also starting to wonder if I have enough time to finish it and an embroidered pouch by the end of January. I’m still working on the documentation of the other pieces with an eye to posting all about them with lots of pictures, but Recent Events have conspired to leave me without the brains and the time to do that both at once. Frazzled is practically my middle name these days.
But it’s not everyone who can manage to be both a ghost and a cyborg — at the bakery I’m said to have a bionic foot — and even without that dubious advantage, if anyone ever tells you the single life is necessarily boring, or means you have to do everything all by yourself, feel free to produce me as Exhibit A.