Back in the Real World

I was in way over my head and I knew it! Oh boy, how did I get myself into such a mess? Here I was standing next to Donald Trump in a large room with several distinguished looking gentlemen standing close by. He and I seemed to be near the far edge of the group, the main body of which was in front of us and off to our left. Trump was being very friendly towards me, talking of the last “deal” he pulled off with a smug remark that “they” were pretty upset with him because he had bested them.

But what was I doing here. His thoughts came around to the deal we were working on right now. We were? Oh boy, what is my role in all this? The discussion showed that I was his “financial man” in this new deal. Financial man?  I didn’t even know what the deal was. It seemed to be construction of a new building, but what sort of building I had no idea, except that this was a mega-project. If you had asked me at the time to add five plus four, I’d probably have got the answer wrong. I was terrified. He made a couple of changes to the numbers in the report he was holding, then handed it back to me to recalculate. Then, off he went.  I struggled to think what I was supposed to do and how I was going to do it. I had just about got a new total when a fellow came up to me, one of my staff I guessed, saying, ”Don’t forget to show the tax separately!” Tax? Oh, yes, I remembered, some things were quoted tax-included. No problem, I seem to remember from the distant past that there was a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) around 8%. Yep, that was it and I had just recalculating a new figure when the staff member called back over his shoulder,

“And don’t forget, some items are taxable and some aren’t!” Oh, dear, now what? I had no idea how to separate one from the other. The fact that Trump was here in Canada and that PST had been discontinued decades ago didn’t register. I was in over my head and I knew it and was dreading whatever would come next. How did I ever get myself into such a mess, and how was I going to get out of it?

Just then, I felt a cold hand lightly touching my bare feet. What was that? I know, it’s Rosemary trying to wake me up without making me angry. Oh, thank goodness the Trump business was just a nightmare, and Rosemary had brought me out of it. It was a huge relief! She sat on the edge of the bed smiling.

“There’s only the two of us here, just you and me!” She was, of course, relating to a little ditty I sometimes sing to her when she has hallucinations that goes, “There’s you and me and me and you, to mention only two, etc.” So, no illusionary people had visited during the night. I had escaped the Trump nightmare and there were no stories of phantom visitors this morning. I was bleary-eyed but relieved.  Then, of a sudden, she jumped up and rushed off, I assumed to the bathroom or to get her hearing aids and glasses. (She’s practically deaf without her hearing aids. I’m almost as bad; I can hear the sounds but can’t make out all the words!)

With her gone, I closed my eyes and tried to get back to sleep, at least for a little while. I lay there, but gradually became aware of the smell of cooking. Cooking, who’s cooking?  Then, as my mind cleared a little I thought that cooking was not quite the right word. No, burning. Yes that was a better word for it. Burning! Oh, my god, what has she done. I jumped, well fell, out of bed and stumbled downstairs into the kitchen. Rosemary was standing in front of the microwave.

“Don’t open the door, wait for a moment I have to go to the bathroom. Just don’t open the microwave door!” I had read somewhere that opening the door will allow air to enter, fueling anything that was already burning or was ready to ignite, but first I needed the bathroom. I was back in record time but Rosemary had gone, and the microwave door was open! At least there was no fire but what had she had had in there and where was it now. Then, she quietly reappeared.

“What happened?”

“Oh, it was just a muffin. I didn’t have my glasses so I couldn’t see.”

“Well, I think you had better leave the microwave alone from now on.”

“You think it was my fault?” Yep, I did, but that wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

“Where is this burnt muffin, anyway? Did you put it in your garbage bag upstairs?” I explained that putting something overheated into a plastic bag could start a fire.

“Yes.” And she took off to retrieve it. She came back with it wrapped in Bounty paper towel.

“Put it into the toilet and flush it. But not the Bounty paper towel, put that in the kitchen garbage bag.” It was like programming, every step needed to be spelled out. When she came back, I said,

“Sit down at the table and I’ll make you some breakfast!” During breakfast, she surprised me with,

“The man called out for everyone to get going and all the girls left!”

“Uh?”

“But the girls were dressed!” she added. I explained that there was no-one here except her and me.

“Right, but there was. They’ve all gone now!  She looked at the clock, and said,

“I think I’ll go back to bed now!” I looked at the clock as she left – oh jeez, it was not even 7 am yet.

I went back to the bathroom, at least it’s peaceful there! I lifted the cover only to see a blocked up toilet. Jeez, now what? The muffin had gone down with the Bounty paper towel. Great stuff, Bounty paper towel, but it doesn’t disintegrate in water like toilet paper does.

Ah, well, out of one nightmare into another! It’s not 7:30 am yet and we’re off to a good start. I had been totally lost in an imaginary world with Trump, Rosemary still had one foot in an imaginary world of her own and both of us were actually (?) in a third world of unseen threats like the virus, real threats like Trump and a world in a state of upheaval!

The only unchanged things were the birds emptying my bird feeders, the squirrels scavenging fallen birdseed and waiting to see if I have thrown out any peanuts for them. Oh, and the flowers are growing well, the trees and bushes are a kaleidoscope of greens and the sun came up again this morning, hot, majestic and unchanging. There’s hope!

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