Instruction Manual. [14 Dec., 2012]

I believe in signs.
The kind you ask for when you’re lost.
The kind of signs that often appear from praying aloud (or begging), “Could you please send me a sign?”
And they do appear – on their own schedule when you least expect to see them.

Yesterday, after work, I came home to a house with no heat ( plenty of oil but the line had clogged with air. 48F degrees in the living room), no cat food (angry cats), an ornery teen for whom I can do no right, an affection-starved dog, a wrong number on the answering machine, and a puddle: two inches of standing water where the first floor shower is suddenly leaking into the basement. I turned around and went to rehearsal.

Talked to myself the whole 30-minute ride there, and, three hours later, the dark ride home.

Before leaving rehearsal, we – director, his wife, all the six actors – all stood in the picketed yard and watched Geminids shoot across the heavens. I saw three bright shooting stars and decided I had three wishes to ask. So, alone in my car, talking aloud to whomever listens to that sort of thing, I asked for three things. One of them, a sign.

This morning, I taught myself how to bleed the boiler, prime the burner and restart the contraption. It’s heating as you read. And, for the first time since we moved here, there are deer in our wood. Two, very small – almost tiny – whitetail. Tenderly looking for delicacies in the deadwood.

Already this is a better day.


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