"Out of sync
With the rhythm of my own reactions
With the things that last
And the things that come apart..."
–Rush, Secret Touch
Transforming Together triggered ghosts of the past. The CandE Awards event triggered pressures of the present. And the unknown of the future was, well, unknown. I was tired, fighting the remnants of a cold, still afraid of the infections I had the year before, repeatedly second-guessing myself and feeling the catatonic shadows of a light depression. Even after a great family wedding in between, I still felt overwhelmingly blah and meh.
All I could hear was my wife, the Mama (what I lovingly call her), telling me we manifest the moment; we manifest the good.
However, I only manifested the blah and meh.
And then on the six-hour flight home, I watched Dead Pool 2, and Ryan Reynolds made it all better. Really, I was laugh-crying at highly inappropriate joke after highly inappropriate joke and horrific comic-book violence. Sometimes you need a little of this to fix a little of that. This is a no-judgement zone, so no judging.
When I finally got home, I couldn’t wait to peek in at our girls, give my wife a kiss and go to bed. It was late, nearly midnight, and as I put the key in the lock and unlocked the deadbolt, I felt the mediocrity fall away like old skin. I sighed and opened the front door.
But it wouldn’t open. What the hell? I thought.
Then it hit me – we have a bolt on the other side of the door that was also locked. One that I couldn’t get to from this side of the door. The Mama knew I was coming home, and she had left on the porch light, and knew not to set our alarm or push the other bolt in. But she must’ve forgotten the bolt. And if the alarm was on the nighttime setting, the whole friggin’ neighborhood was going to wake up.
Okay, now what? I could get in the garage, but the door from the garage to my office was locked and for the life of me I couldn’t remember where the key was.
Now what? I could break the bolt and risk damaging the front door and still setting the alarm off if it was set.
I stood for a few minutes and realized I just have to wake up the Mama. Hopefully not the girls either, but I needed to get in the house.
So, I rang the doorbell. Once, twice and then a third time.
Nothing. I could only hear our bunny Dragonlily rattling his cage inside from hearing the doorbell. We have one of those Ring.com surveillance video doorbells, so I hoped that the Mama woke up and checked to see that it was me.
Nothing. I tried to ring it a fourth time, but it didn’t light up and ring like it’s supposed to do.
What the hell?
I pushed the doorbell multiple times and nothing. You’ve got to be kidding me, it’s broken? Now?
I went into the garage to put my bags in there and then tried to find the other key I needed to get in through my office, but had no such luck. I closed the garage and went back to the front door. The night outside was cool and quiet and freaked me out a little, adding to my uneasy feeling of being strung out already. I knew the worst-case scenario was that I could sleep in the garage, but dammit, I wanted to sleep in my bed!
I started knocking on the door, increasing the volume a little with each knock. I waited. And nothing. I did this for another few minutes, knocking and waiting – and nothing. If the girls had heard, then they were minding our safety rule of not going to the front door, especially this late at night.
However, I actually did have another alternative besides sleeping in the garage. That was going around the other side of our house and through our back gate into our backyard. I didn’t want to go that way because the gate was locked (I had that friggin' key least) and we have a big swing chair in front of it.
That was my last shot to get in, though. I walked around to the side gate and was immediately blinded by our motion detector lights. I tried to unlock the gate, but I couldn’t get the right angle, so I stacked up our side yard flagstone to stand on. That worked, and I unlocked the gate, but then had a hard time pushing swing chair out of the way to the get the gate open far enough for me to get through. Plus, we have these makeshift boards set up at the bottom of the gate to prevent our rabbit from getting out.
My neighbors are going to call the friggin’ police on me if they hear and/or see this, I thought.
No one did thankfully, and I finally got into the backyard and into the house through the back door. The alarm wasn’t on either. Thank God.
Amen. I was home. I peeked in at girls. I gave the Mama a kiss. And I went to bed. While I dozed off into an exhausted sleep, I realized I left the growing mediocrity at the door and basked in the presence of my family to move forward – that there was no other way to grapple with the past, the present and the future. That we do manifest our moments and we manifest the goods. And that's treasure worth fighting the ghosts over.