Friday, September 02, 2011

A Contemplative Chaplain Diary: The Edge of Reason

6:34 p.m. Rats. The air conditioning is not functioning. Again. Just like last year. And the year before.

11:40 p.m. Will report that ACME Heating and Air Conditioning representative Vern is here to offer excellent customer service. Vern likes to explain things in detail. And mutter under his breath a lot about the shoddy A.C. which was put in originally. He blinks. Perhaps he has allergies? He shakes his head and says, “Wow…” and then reminds me he can fix it. Then he explains things again. And he draws diagrams. Lots of diagrams. Sadly, 4-year-old Grayson, the only one in our family who would care, is asleep.

11:42 p.m. Vern still on duty outside. Maisie, the miniature dachshund is hyper-vigilant and panting in her cage.

11:45 p.m. Vern and air conditioning unit still enjoying meaningful encounter in yard. I would like to go to bed, but Vern, he has other plans which include fancy red machine which looks like radar gun which beeps and tells temperature. Damn, how can Grayson sleep through this excitement?

11:46 p.m. Beginning to wonder if Vern’s inability to look me in the eye and his blinking thing is like the old veterinarian Dr. Curly who could only look at animals and not at people. Hmmm…wonder if this is a syndrome I don’t know the name of…Hmmm…will google.

11:48 p.m. Hmmm…could be NVLD, Non-Verbal Learning Disability. Will administer Myers-Briggs test to Vern in his next pass through the house to the upstairs thermostat.

11:53 p.m. I’m wondering if Vern is a 7 on the eneagram. Says that my air conditioner is an “adventure.” It’s “challenging.” I think Vern likes challenges. And diagrams. More diagrams. With arrows. And air flow charts.

11:59 p.m. Offered Vern a caffeine-free diet coke. He doesn’t “drink on the job.” Efficient Vern.

12:07 a.m. Vern replaced 4 cubic something of coolant. Same amount as last year. And asked to see paperwork on unit to see if it’s still under warranty. I produced aforementioned paperwork and billing from previous contractors. Vern actually makes the “tsk, tsk” sound with his tongue. I had only read "tsk, tsk" sound in book. Never knew it really existed. Vern, though, Vern can demonstrate. “They charged you this much? For this unit? They just had this on-hand [tsk, tsk]. They were trying to unload it. In 2010 our industry was forbidden from selling this product.” Vern is clearly being polite, but what he means is, “You got screwed big time. And I think you know I don’t have to draw you a diagram to explain that.” He could say this with his eyes, but of course, he doesn’t. Because he is studying the cat hair ball Moses just puked up on the tile floor in the kitchen instead. Vern’s eyes could speak volumes if he would only look at me. Sigh. Oh, Vern…

12:11 a.m. It’s getting cooler. I am considering making my next tattoo a little icon that says, “I [heart] Vern.” or "Vern the A.C. man + Contemplative Chaplain = Love" Or maybe I’ll just get a roving eyeball to remember our night together.

12:13 a.m. I’m thinking of inviting Vern to church. Why not make the night an evangelistic opportunity? Will ask him how his walk with Jesus is when he comes in again. Will ask him if he is saved.

12:25 a.m. Missed opportunity for conversion as Vern seemed intent on leaving me with last diagram. Vern should have PBS show like artist Bob Ross who drew “tiny trees.” Vern would also look good with white afro.

12:34 a.m. $681.30 the poorer are we. Cooler. But poorer. But I have a new friend. And shouldn’t that be all that matters, really?

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