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0 Comments | Dec 04, 2012

An Incident of Some Consequence…

An incident of some consequence
in the otherwise banal
and occasionally frustrating
life of Terry Dickerson

It was sheer dumb luck
brought that tree limb down
directly on top
of the air conditioner,
and on the hottest damned day
of the hottest year
in living memory.
Cicadas have given up
their incessant kazoo playing.
Even the mosquitoes,
so tumultuous this time of year,
have packed it in.
But here stands Terry,
awash in sweat
from the effort of climbing
the ladder and cutting
the offending branch,
whose only crime had been
an occasional scritch scritch
on the upstairs bedroom window,
but whose sharp stout freshly cut end
sits now firmly lodged in the
compressor fan blade assembly,
the motor nonetheless
still attempting to turn,
said effort apparent
from the loud electrical buzz
that now replaces the normal
blast of hot air
drawn from within the house.
Terry, having already rendered up
the requisite vituperation
called for by the situation,
can think of little else to do
but walk into the house,
whose temperature and humidity
have already risen noticeably,
pick up the phone and call
Richard’s Heating and Cooling,
hoping against all realistic hope
that they aren’t already
so inundated with calls
that they won’t
be able to make it out
this very day,
which hope seems
indeed unlikely
given the oppressive heat.
Terry’s already low expectations
are promptly reinforced
by the phone recording indicating
a minimum wait of thirty minutes
before the call can
even be answered,
the final bit of this unnerving message
being rendered rather less
than intelligible due to
the sudden onset of noise
from the refrigerator
motor, a device marginal and persnickety
on a good day,
which, seemingly taking a cue
from the wounded and noisome
air conditioner outside,
has chosen this inauspicious moment
to itself finally give up the ghost
with one final gasp
and the pungent odor
of fried electrical wiring.

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