A week ago Thursday, I stood at the counter in the health department’s environmental protection division with ten minutes to spare before closing time. I had the proof of workmen’s compensation in my folder of regulatory documentation, and my heart was racing at the prospect of finally being finished with the city’s hoops and ladders. Ms. Owens flipped through my folder of goodies and said: “Now, I just need a copy of your lease.” I dropped my head so hard, I thought my chin would hit my chest. I could see myself putting the lease down on my desk with one hand as I picked up the workmen’s compensation plan with the other. I’d gone from having an incomplete folder to having … an incomplete folder. She looked at my face and said: “We open tomorrow at 8:30a.”
I knew that, of course, but I also knew I had to be in D.C. the next day – and that I might hurt someone if I had to wait another day to be approved to open. Apparently, it was written all over my face. All I had to say in a practical whisper was: “I have to be in D.C. tomorrow.” Ms. Owens then made me an offer I could’ve kissed her for, and after a comedy of technical errors and slow cell towers, Ms. Owens had in her inbox emailed photographs of each page of my lease (my better half is the woman to have in a pinch!), and I had the little yellow card that said I could sell food with the approval of the City of Baltimore!
Since then, days and times have completely run together, kinda like this:
Alone on Sunday in the programming department on what was likely my last day of producing a live television program. It was the longest job of my life, and at times, I was remarkably fulfilled in this building. It remains nice work if you can get it; I’ve just gone as far with it as I’ll ever be allowed to go – and life’s too short to go through the motions.
Monday brought the window vinyls and more elbow grease. Tuesday brought an aborted store sign installation. (I may never understand why it’s so hard to get a good sign in two weeks’ time).
Wednesday brought a grease fire in an oven at the commercial kitchen where I cook that started ten seconds after I turned it on to preheat. By 3 p.m. I was scrambling to safely finish the goods for the opening I was determined wouldn’t wait another day. Thursday morning, 3 a.m.: about twenty dozen cupcakes, pie cups and cookies later, I fell into bed.
The so called grand opening will be Saturday – the first time in years I’ll miss kung fu class without being at a tournament or on a business trip. Then again, this is a business trip – all day every day, minus time out for the martial arts addiction that keeps me from flipping out. The last seven days of blurred sunrises and sunsets have driven that message home, if nothing else.
Now time to catch up on sleep… while I can. :-)