I once read that the more we focus on what we don’t want, the more power we give to it. In other words, we receive what we resist.
When 2Fs sat me down and told me he had hired contractors to renovate the laundry room, even though we were still in the midst of the six-week sleeping porch project that had begun in October of the following year, I said, “Okay, let’s go for it. How much more invasive could it be?”
““You’ll barely notice a change to our day-to-day lives,” he said. “Now, help me disconnect the washer and dryer and take them outside.”
““Not so fast, slick. How am I going to do laundry?”
““There’s this place called a laundromat,” 2Fs said.
““I know what a laundromat is,” I said. “How long will it be necessary to haul all the dirty clothes in my Miata to the laundromat.”
““No more than a week.”
After we moved everything out of the laundry room, a space the size of an airplane galley, the contractors arrived the following morning and began the demolition. When I returned home after work, I was met with sheets of plastic hanging over every doorway connected to the back hallway that led to the laundry room. Even with the plastic, dust covered every surface in the house. After an impressive coughing fit, I asked Jeff where the government scientists were conducing the autopsy of E.T.”
““Ha. Ha. Why don’t you make yourself useful and start vacuuming up the dust.”
I was about to follow suit when something caught my eye. “Hey, where’s the hot water heater?”
“Oh, I think I forgot to mention we’re without hot water for a while.”
““How long is a while?”
I staggered into the laundry room and hugged the air that used to surround the precious water heater. “Where will we shower?”
““The gym,” 2Fs said.
I blinked at him. ““Do you still remember how to get there, or should I draw you a map?”
2Fs didn’t reply; he simply handed me a vacuum cleaner attachment.
If you know me, you’re aware there are two things I try to avoid: Getting up early and cold. As soon as I knew the water heater was gone, I began to obsess over which was the lesser of two evils: Taking a cold shower, or getting up early to go to the gym and shower there.
Never having gone to the gym to exercise before work, I was unsure how crowded it would be in the morning. Since there are only two showers, would I have to wait? How long should I allow for a full-body workout and then to wash and dress for work? On the bright side, at least spring was here and I wouldn’t have to venture out into the cold in the morning.
Wouldn’t you know it? Atlanta received an Arctic blast the next morning. I had to bundle up as if I were driving a sled of dogs to the Yukon. Thankfully, I discovered very few people go to the gym in the morning and I was able to get in and out of the gym in under an hour.
The unseasonably cold weather continued and by the end of the week, I had to ask Jeff why we were still without a water heater.
““Well, there’s been a delay,” he said. “The antique white tile came in and it was brown.”
““Yes, like eggs from a little brown hen.”
I grabbed to 2Fs by his shirt collar and slammed him against the wall. “For the love of God, man, when are we going to have hot water again? The staff at Village Fitness have seen me at the gym for five consecutive days. They’re beginning to give me that suspicious look, like they think I’m stalking someone.”
““Okay, let’s just take a deep breath, close our eyes, and go to our special place, okay …”