The Archive

That's Life ....

... click, fffttt-t-t. Gone ...

Marjorie Burgess

THAT'S LIFE I pressed the infamous Delete button: Four hours of imaginative, superbly written toil vanished! I stomped out of the computer room, closed the screen door, recently installed to insure the room's safety from the prowlings of my "live-in companions", Boo and Ripley. I was in total despair. All those hours of intense concentration gone up in smoke.

I am devastated! How could I have let this happen? To think it could have been saved if I hadn't lost my cool. When the computer asked if I wished to record my latest changes did I hit "Enter" or "Esc"?

This sketch, I assure you, was witty beyond belief, quite informative, delightfully so. I'm convinced I have lost my masterpiece. Should I attempt to recall this inspired composition or should I have lunch or drive to the Cape or be grateful that my husband painted the porch rail yesterday? This morning he scraped the porch column where the paint was a bit bubbly. I had mentioned this to him out of curiosity, not with a longing to have this minor condition corrected.

It would be more to my delight if he would wash the kitchen floor or did some equally uplifting chore. He spoke encouragingly to me knowing the words that he uttered were not exactly comforting in`my hour of anguish, announcing that he had finished what he had set out to do and was pleased with the result. In my hour of pain he was drawing satisfaction from the leisurely effort of painting the porch rail gleaming white and bright, waiting for some sound of gratitude from my lips. I agreed it was a pleasant sight to behold and despondently returned to my mundane household chores, so eloquently defined in the words of that guileless song, "The Dust Rag or Housewife's Drag" which wistfully declares, "wishing I were somewhere else."

With my crest fallen, I returned to household chores, more or less as follows: to clean the cat's miscalculations perpetrated before dawn, feed, Boo, Ripley, and Freddie, our visiting cat, wash and store the dishes, do the Sunday vacuuming, ad infinitum. This on the day of rest - TRADITION!

Arising this morning, the man of the house ate his breakfast and continued to paint the porch rail. I swept away the leftover paint shavings, which he firmly stated he intended to dispose of. His work is finished. Enough exertion for the day. He can now relax, comfortably entrenched in his special chair, absorbed in the wonderful world of television, "Til the End of Time".......

Speaking of time, why am I still glued to this slave-driving computer, wallowing in a fantasy dream of developing some buried talent? I should be out "Walking in the Rain" or skipping in "The Lucky Old Sun", or try jogging to the Post Office. What if it is closed on Sunday? I could visit my son's office. My daughter may be there to chat with me.

Perhaps I'll phone one of my old friends. As Frank Sinatra enthusiastically sings in one of his biggest hits, "THAT'S LIFE!".

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