"It was a dark and stormy night." I mouth as I pound away on my laptop. Wait. This is familiar. I
delete the line and try again. "It was ... It was ... "
Crap, the words don't flow so I force myself into the zone. I'm a writer. I'm ...
"It was a dark and stormy night. It was ... " Jesus. Must the neighbors mow their lawn right now?
"It was a dark and stormy ... " Damn, will Rob ever fix the leaky toilet or must I do everything? I frown at the keyboard, bite my lip, try to focus.
"It was ... " Ah buggers. So much for chapter twenty seven. Now Rob and J.T. are back from fishing and I won't accomplish a thing. Camped out in the recliner, I sigh, then hear them back the boat into the side yard, where metal grates metal, and a hissing geyser of grey steam trumpets past the window. "Son of a ..." I shoot to my feet and send the front door crashing back on it's hinges.
@#$* %!@##* it Rob. You just hit my *^#@K!^$ air conditioner. Midway to a stroke I become aware of two things. One, there's a wide eyed woman, dressed in a bathing suit, holding an inflatable killer whale, sitting in the back of a pick up truck, in front of my house. And two, our eleven year old neighbor, J.T.'s baby blues are saucer wide.
I give the kid a look and roll my eyes. "Next time you two fish, maybe you could drive."
He grins and runs off to inspect the damage.
Not ready to view the twisted remains of my air conditioner, I stand in the drive, arms tight across my chest doing my gol damndest to curtail my swearing.
Rob climbs out of the cab. "Did I hit the air conditioner?" I narrow my eyes and he grimaces.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I ... "
Confused, I turn toward the voice and spot the woman, minus the killer whale, headed my way. I guess she came to swim in Mary's pool.
"This is all my fault. I really wasn't in a hurry but Mary said Rob never has trouble when he parks the boat."
I choke. Our next door neighbor Mary should know better. "Not true. This is Rob's fault. No one else's." She opens her mouth to argue and I jam a finger in the air. "Not only is this his fault but he's torn down the internet wire, twice. And my garage door. Have you seen my garage door?"
She starts to smile. "I feel really bad."
"Don't," I laugh, "Rob's fault."
Three hours, and several hundred degrees of Florida steamy heat, later the air conditioner guy steps out of his van. The same repairman from last week. I swear if I see him one more time I'll adopt him.
As the boys tromp off to examine the wreckage I get back to work.
"It was a dark and stormy ..."