Chapter 1: Before the Fall

It all began on my September 2015 39th birthday
OMG, I discovered my first gray hair. By evening, my day hadn’t gotten any better. I told my sister I’d go with her to some meeting at my niece’s high school. What I didn’t know; however, was we’d be learning the new math curriculum they had implemented over the summer. I have a worn out “tip card” in my wallet for Christ sakes. My dream of being the female Jacques Cousteau was shattered my first year in college. “Why?” you may ask. Because of MATH, that’s why! So I end up spending my birthday night with my sister and an auditorium full of parents, studying a new way to learn MATH. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was to be the most enjoyable part of my year.

Hello October, and one depressed pig
We spend our summers in northern Wisconsin, and Officer can be as wild and free as he wants to be. Having over 80 acres to root and an alligator-free lake to cool off in, it’s no wonder he gets so down when we head home to Florida and back to life living on a golf course. This year I decided to do something about it.

When I returned home, after my birthday, I hired the handyman at my vet’s office to do some minor work at my house. By October, he had brought in a general contractor to help with my “bright idea”. I’d decide to extend my lanai, and have pasture grass planted around the inside perimeter. I thought it would be nice for Officer; he could root around and sunbathe in a more natural environment. Considering the project was projected to take only two weeks and the price was fair, I went ahead with construction.

Bring on November, and surgery
I was diagnosed with endometriosis, finally decided to have the surgery, and I’m rewarded with every single complication possible. I ended up in the hospital with two blood clots and third-spacing. I did get a “lift”; unfortunately, it was my uterus instead of my boobs or butt.

January 2016, and the spiral continues downward
Construction is not finished, not even close. Concrete finally gets poured and I wait, and I fight, and I wait some more. Every day is an exhausting uphill battle with one dipshit male after another. One contractor told me, “I know you want it done, but I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want a trash job either. If I tried to explain all the inner workings and details, you’d never understand. Just sit back, look pretty, and watch me do my magic.” Oh, he was magical alright; disappearing at 4:00 pm never to return.

There was always some man telling me he was giving me some great deal, or that it was supposed to look like that, and my favorite, that I would never understand why they hadn’t finished the job yet; these things are delicate. Bullshit! I call bullshit! Somehow, because I have vagina, I can’t tell that I’m being taken by a crook, that something wasn’t done correctly and that is why it doesn’t look right! As for my favorite excuse, you haven’t finished the job because you guys are fishing!

For some reason, because I’m female, every day is like taking my car to the shop. “Is there a Mr. Volpe I could talk too?” “Yep, you’re looking at him,” I said staring one dipshit coolly in the eye. The truth was, if there had been a “Mr. Volpe”, I probably wouldn’t be in this mess. Too exhausted to go out with friends or be social. What day is it? Too exhausted to care.

February, fuck February! 
The cage is still waiting to go up, and it can’t. “Why can’t it, Lee”? I’ll tell you why, because I hired Ray Charles to pour the concrete and its pitch is off by 7 inches! I also hired criminals; my wonderful vet’s handyman and his contractor/fishing buddy.

By the end of the month, I had the police, workmen’s comp, and the county’s code enforcement agents out at my house. The contractor was no contractor. He had provided me false information, including his license number, and now the state was involved. My handyman got scared and abandoned work at my property. I now had to find licensed, competent professionals to not only demolish all work that had been completed, but to begin again from scratch. I was now out almost ten thousand dollars to the “fishing buddies”.

Heading into March, and Spring BREAK
My sister, niece, and nephew were flying down to Florida, and the four of us were going on a cruise for the kid’s Spring Break. I was supposed to go with them last year to New York, but 7 hours before I was to leave my pig sitter broke her ankle and didn’t have a backup. Last year I missed it, but this year I wouldn’t. I hired the owner of an amazing pet sitting company. She had met Officer several times prior to me leaving, and she always had a substitute should an emergency arise. I was set, I was ready, I needed this; to get away from the hell I’d been in every day for the last however many months.

In the limo, almost to the port authority, I turn to face my sister and tell her how I can’t wait, I’m so excited. We paid for priority boarding, so we were looking at a day on the deck, poolside, with cocktails in hand. “I need a break. I can’t wait for this trip”. Well readers, be careful what you ask for. My God definitely has a sense of humor, although sometimes I think I missed the joke.

Taking the last sip of water from the Dasani bottle, I got out of the limo and inhaled the salty air. Not wanting to leave my garbage in the van, I walked across the road, stepped up on the curb where everyone was unloading, and threw my bottle away. I turned to go back to go back, stepped down off the curb, and…I should’ve fuckin’ littered!

To be continued…

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