I don’t know what people usually do after they book airline tickets for their parents to come a-visiting. I found the husband contemplating deep philosophical questions about the universe while staring into a black hole.
Baffling behavior really! We had trained ourselves and our visitors to avert their eyes from the hole in the ceiling. I joined him in the kitchen, and we looked long and deep into that hole above the kitchen. The universe, they say, is visible in the spaces in between. It is true. We could see spider webs, a spattering of tubes and pipes that modern plumbing usually hides from us, and a great gaping space with nothing there, not even light. The roughly cut ceiling hole was like the event horizon and we slowly learnt not to perceive past the event horizon.
As I write this, I am thinking the narrative is loose. I need to back up. What black hole? What hole in the ceiling and where does philosophy come into the picture? Valid qs – bear with me, while I set context and all that.
I’d like to take the reader back to the day after we moved to the new nest a few months ago. The kitchen ceiling was dry, birds were chirping and all was well. Things became wetter when one went to take a shower upstairs.
It turns out that something had been chipped between the kitchen and the shower upstairs. So, to make a l story s, when one showered upstairs, there was a rain-like shower in the kitchen downstairs. We plopped a bucket on the kitchen counter, and within minutes, the husband was making a call to the insurance company.
The leak itself, I am glad to say, was stopped quite competently and quickly. It is after that, that the tale of the black hole expands. The repairman sent by the insurance company had torn out an ugly assymetrical hole in the ceiling to repair the leak, and said to us that he would be back in 2 days to patch it up again. The trusting toons that the husband and I are, we wished him well, and then, many a week and month has passed waiting for the mystery man to come and fill the hole.
We would jump at the sight of an unfamiliar vehicle in the streets outside. Maybe it is them. Then you see a man come up to us mistaking the welcoming gleam in our eyes, and ask if we would like to have the trees outside the home dusted, and the pair of us say in unison ‘Yes!’ ‘No!’. (Great minds think alike)
In any case, what I am trying to say is that there are several things like the black hole that have slipped by the wayside. Furnishing the new abode for instance, fixing the showers, the garage, the switch, the shelf. You know how it is.
Apart from the fact that we seated our friends on the floor, learnt to divert our eye when spotting the hole in the ceiling, and had a system when it came to showers and things, all seemed good and we muddled along.
But the airline tickets ignited a fire in the man of the house. The man became The Man, The Machine, Street Hawk. A super hero in short. He whirled about the house taking care of chores, calling repairmen, plumbers, and carpenters sending reminders and thank-you notes like his career depended on them.
A fascinating exercise really. For every time I have reached the reminder and chores section of our chats together, the man gives those large yawns. (I fear his jaws are going to tear off.) Yet, here he was, the very image of his parents a-visiting, being the epitome of efficiency.
What I must do is to book these tickets periodically whether or not they are able to come.