Still Scathing

The handyman texted me this morning. He had “just” been told by my neighbors that he had committed to work on their driveway on Friday. Unfortunately, that meant he could not come to work on my deck as promised. He asked, how about Saturday?

My response wasn’t especially friendly. No! And, by the way, your contract calls for payment upon completion, but I acquiesced to your request to pay the first 2/3 because of rain delays and your need for money. And you repay me by accepting a NEW piece of business instead of finishing mine? It was longer, but no less unfriendly. He responded an hour later, asking if I wanted him to come over then to do the painting. I was away, so I told him no. I didn’t tell him that there was no way in hell I was going to let him work on my deck in my absence; I want to be present to correct his mistakes. Plus, he thinks he just needs to paint. No, he needs to say, scrape, blow the dust off, and THEN paint. Plus, it’s a 2-coat job. But I don’t think he understands that.

Am I peeved? Just a shade. A tad. A bit. A smidgeon.

I doubt I’ll have him finish the job. I suspect I will do it myself. I’m at least as capable as he is. I’d rather have someone more capable, but I’m tired to trying to find such a person.


Today, we took a little day trip. We drove to Hope, AR, where we ate lunch at an interesting little burger joint (decent, but they badly overcooked my “medium-rare” burger). Then, we drove to Magnolia, AR where we had a slice of pie each. Neither was especially wonderful. But it was pie. At least. I would have preferred uninspired apple or uninspired cherry. But that’s just me.

After we got home, my favorite wife called the only independently-owned pizza spot within a 15 minute drive and ordered a super-duper-supreme pizza or whatever they call theirs. We picked it up and ate half of it. The other half rests in the refrigerator, awaiting tomorrow’s hunger.

Our good friends are in the midst of a multi-state road-trip. Tonight, they are spending their time in Tombstone, Arizona. We communicate, in snippets, via text message. I wish we were with them. I’d prefer communicating person-to-person.


I wrote something on Facebook a day or two ago, since removed, about suicide. I opted to remove it because I sensed it might seem like a call for pity, even though that’s not what it was. I was just saying, basically, suicide should not be illegal. Since then (and for a long time before then), I’ve been thinking that I think about suicide far more frequently than I should. I wonder whether my periodic thoughts on the matter might be unhealthy symptoms that I may not be as mentally healthy as I ought to be. My thoughts are far too complex for me to attempt to explore them here. But I think maybe I am giving myself warning signs. If so, I’ve been sending them for years, but have taken great care to hide them from the rest of the world.

All the above should not be taken as a warning. Really. But I think people, more people than any of us might imagine, consider suicide. It may be a fleeting thought, it may be a constant mental burden; but it’s there, somewhere, in the back of the mind.


The time is closing in on 10:30 p.m. I have no reason to go to bed, but no compelling reason to stay awake. My life is not sufficiently exciting to require my eyelids to remain open. So I shall go to sleep. Soon. Before I write something I can’t unwrite.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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