• Richard Scrimger

I am a contraption

Organization is hard. Not because the smooth answer is hard to arrive at, but because your will must be strong. Some people seem to be able to drive from cradle to grave in large and powerful automobiles. Their wills are highly toned and muscular. My will is a flabby entity, too full of the chocolate and potato chips of other people's lives and wishes. As a result, my life vehicle resembles one of those Rube Goldberg contraptions, a towering maze of wires and struts and gearwheels, designed to boil water play piano hang drywall and spin straw into gold, powered by one little man on a bicycle. Take yesterday afternoon. A small snapshot of my life. Here's my schedule, as I recall it. 2:20 high school to pick up big kids and drive to their mom's; 2:30 gym so I can fit into the pants they've given me for the play (so tight!); 3:15 grocery store to buy ingredients for meat loaf; 3:20 home from store, greet youngest son who has walked to my place because he has to go to physiotherapy for a broken collarbone; 3:30 asssemble meatloaf in record time, onionsporkbeefeggscrackersmilkelevendifferentherbsandspices, and into the oven; 3:40 drop son at physio, pat on back and off; 3:55 drive 10 k to pick up elder daughter from co-op placement at media outlet; 4:10 she drops me back at physio, takes car to visit boyfriend; 4:30 walk home with younger son, start homework (him) and dinner veggies (me). 4:45 elder daughter home, changes into work clothes; 4:50 drive her to job at gas station, stopping to pick up sandwich on way; 5:00 continue in car to pick up other kids from their mom's; 5:15 dinner prep continues apace; 5:30 dinner, chatting and giggling through Red vs Blue; 5:45 elder son drives me to play rehearsal. He will drive the other kids back to his mom's, leaving the car there for me to pick up after rehearsal, when I will swing by the gas station to pick up elder daughter from her job. And so to scotch. Not a smooth ride, my friends. Funny thing is, you don't get what you don't want. In a weird (doctor, it's about my mother) way I must crave chaos. One thing, for sure: I'm never bored. And yet part of me ... I don't like to admit this ... part of me envies the guys and gals sailing by my contraption in their sleek and gleaming lives. I wonder if they envy me? Does the lean toned dancer, nibbling on a lettuce leaf, envy the slob dipping his fries into bearnaise sauce? (I tried this once, by mistake, and let me tell you ... but that's another post.)

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Richard Scrimger | scrimgerr@gmail.com | Toronto, ON, Canada