Another Friday night in the books (week 6) and another trip upwards NY Albany again for some more High School Football. This week BB (my little Scion XB for your reminder) and I returned to Shenendehowa. It was a big night for “Shen” as they guaranteed themselves a spot in the playoffs with a monster 3rd quarter as CBA kept shooting themselves in whatever feet and limbs they had left, while Shen did what they did in front of their always huge legion of fans ringing the field and crowding the stands. Huger still for Homecoming and Senior’s Night. This community truly revels in team and these Friday’s…an embraceful, vocal force. Even I get the feel and I’m pretty far removed from it. Not just the not being from here or the driving 2 hours north after leaving work early but for what I don’t recall of my High School days and Mahopac Football (probably because I had no interest). No, this is destination stuff for everyone in Clifton Park on home games and they were well rewarded in this one. Cheers to the seniors.
I was “Redcap” tonight (actually a gold Pirates hat…I know…whodathunk?), the guy who becomes the center of attention a few times during the game while he holds the action up for the live broadcast pausing refs and teams while feeling the impatient, maybe even angry stares of the crowd on the back of his neck. Mom always knew I’d be the guy that would make people wait. I also was reminded that Greg, the boss and director, would try and grab a quick shot of me doing whatever it was I was doing on the sidelines for this broadcast’s night, usually carrying a parabolic mic, but not moreso than anyone else I thought. Figured it was no different than the sports broadcasts you watch where they take time to recognize the crew, a camera shot of the camera shots kind of thing, the sideliners too, but I didn’t really realize until a few weeks ago that the truck calling for a shot of “Frankenberry” was a thing (apologies to northern NY for the intrusion of my ugly mug). Joe in the truck even lamented that he tried to catch a picture of me with his cell on the monitors but just missed. Shit just makes me laugh and smile. Said “Hi” to you last night Ma by the way…with a small knowing wave.
On my and BB’s way south out of town at the end, at the McDonald’s at exit 8 on 87, I was greeted with a “Hey, how are you … what are we having tonight?” from the assistant manager who has taken my end home order three times in six weeks now. Poor guy apparently doesn’t get Fridays off. Another laugh. Another smile. Here’s to making the world small.
For the last week or so Celie (my landlady) has taken up a project here at this Celie Manor of Fur and Feather on a Hill. She’s constant projects. Constant projects on an old house. But, unlike those you may know who have “projects”, jobs that often get started but are never finished, Celie finishes hers (even as I type I hear the sounds of power tools and buffers of another rising from below). The latest? The front porch and then also the mud room. The ripping up of the mud room to be exact, and an eventual new floor. Other than the kitchen downstairs the mud room is heart #2 of this spot. It is the first place you enter after the parking of your car and then heading through the garage and past the garage cats, Dutch and Lumpy, Curly, Ghost and the Black and White gang. It’s the room at the bottom of my apartment steps and it is a place of dogs (occasional cats). Ok, not a place “OF dogs” but a place “WITH” dogs I should say. It is warm and barky (hello Pea) and welcoming (as long as you’re a familiar), especially if the light is off when you come in but the kitchen light, just beyond this room’s half door, is on, filled with its humaness. It is the quintisential “mud room”, piled shit, shoes on the floor, cat beds on top of and dog beds inside of open cages, too many jackets on hooks and even too many hats if need be, it’s just a bit more furry, and with a heartbeat. Did I say warm?
This mud room is also home to the washer and dryer. When I first moved in here, just a few months shy of two years now, I was a bit reticent to use them. Thought I might be overstepping. I was just the new guy upstairs. Who was I to assume that I could use the house’s laudromat? But after the first time, and folding a few things of Celie’s and her son Matt’s sitting in the dryer while I washed, I seemed to be given a thumbs up to clean undies (I’m all set for paramedics cutting them off Ma) with my one usual hamper a week.
The mud room project, though, has left the washer/dryer out of commission.
Celie: We may have to do our laundry at the shelter this weekend. I think the washer and dryer in the back, behind the kennels, are hooked up.
I knocked on the back door of the shelter. I waited. Cats approached. “who the hell is this guy?” said those who at least gave me a sniff but at length. Then there was the other Bruce.
There is a Bruce at the house. The Alpha Cat. The coolest of dudes who puts the fear of swipe and scratch with a deep throated “meooooowllllll” in the heart of the dogs, Polly on occasion but moreso Pea to the point where he cries and growly bounces or circles, afraid to pass, but also a Bruce who can’t wait for a pick up and a shoulder.
Then there is the other Bruce. At the shelter. Alpha Cat the same, but he of the long nose and easier countinence. We hung out for a pet after another knock.
“Hi, I’m the guy that lives up the hill…at the house…of your boss…of Celie?”
Silence and a stare.
I have that effect. Probably one explanation of my singleness.
“I’m just gonna come in and do some laundry” followed by a long winded fading off explanation as to why.
In my sweats, ratty t-shirt and beat up sneaks I guess I looked a bit sketchy. I wouldn’t wanna let me in either.
Kayleigh did eventually let me in, though I don’t think she was happy about it. Understood.
I know a lot of this is covered ground, especially in my recent posts, apologies for the re-hash, but I just like the talking about it, about the wonder of me somehow landing in this perfect of spots. Talk about my luck, something I don’t often find myself doing, and a found friend in Celie. Though I barely make enough for a 55 year old guy with a 55 year old guy’s debt and bills to get by, thus the reason for these Friday night treks to the northern NY hinterland for a dollar or two, I have the comfort of a really good spot to come home to. The happy madness downstairs and my girls upstairs, Little (forever little) Bella, Mimi The Quirky and Cricket The Blind. My carott. AND I get to venture through the kennels and cat rooms and back spots of hopefuls at an animal shelter, this place here at HVARS and maybe, though they don’t know it, give them them a bit of hope if anyone pays attention. Some pictures here as a reward for bearing with me.
So pay attention ya baaassstaaadds and baaassstettes! How could you not if you’ve read this far? If you’ve been considering adding to the family, well, you need go no further. HVARS. Just take a look at these faces for pet’s sake.