Tuesday, July 14, 2009

THE BIG HUNT


We watched Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr on a big hunt, a scenically rich, fully detailed safari, "King Solomon's Mines" -- Granger. the Great White Hunter leading the African porters and the needy, strong-willed, brave, noble Kerr into darkest Africa to find her husband.

From time to time, we have our own big hunts ...

For receipts ...
Our offices aren't darkest Africa but our file cabinets (my wooden one, JC's steel one), are full of dangers like the giant boa constrictor, the ten foot alligator, the huge scorpions that suddenly, terrifyingly appear and endanger one's very being ... It's life and death -- the lever's cracked ... it's warrantied isn't it? That pin, that part -- does Sears still manufacture it?

For a tool ...
Urgently needed for a leak, an overflow, a broken rattling precarious something or other .. . tool could be in three places upstairs, anyone of nine different places downstairs ... ohLordyohGod -- we've got to have it now!

Granger's bearers in the line were toting all their life and death supplies -- he knew who was carrying what, but we look at each other with question marks in our eyes -- where did we put it? when did we use it last? -- while danger mounts.

For a contact lens ...
Freeze! Don't move! Carefully brush a sleeve, brush your front, your knees, your shoes! Pat the table! Study your coffee cup, examine the saucer -- it's there -- it has to be there --where?

Think! cries JC.
I think. I murmur --"I did stand up ..."
JC grabs the flashlight ...
I'm at the sink, patting.

He's on his knees below my chair ...
I pull the string that turns on the overhead fluorescents, grab a paper napkin. On my knees I'm patting everywhere, retracing my movements, retracing my steps, my thoughts .. did I reach for a fork, didn't I open my vitamin bottle?

A minute, two minutes ... four minutes later ...

We're patting, hunting, cleaning the floor with our hands, a small section, a larger section ... then the entire floor ... His weapon is the dustpan brush, mine is both hands sweeping, smoothing over every inch of the floor.

He says, " Did you find it?"
"No?" I reply. "And you didn't either, did you?"
We sit back down, heads hanging, dejected, mourning ...

"Oh well," I murmur sadly to myself out loud.
"Well, " he murmurs comfortingly, "You've got plenty more."

We sigh. Do the math. Quietly count the boxes, each of four contains six lenses, three pairs that could be worn for ten days or maybe two weeks, so there's maybe enough to last about five or six months.

We sigh in unison and Deborah-Em and Stewart-JC reach across the table and squeeze each other's hands. each letting the other know "I can handle it ..."

After coffee and pecan sandy cookies. I open my lens case to return the one lens I'm wearing to it's place.

"Ohmygolly goodness gracious! The lens -- it's here -- it didn't fall out!"

Granger and Kerr cast loving, bemused smiles at one another, powerfully united by the adventure they've shared.

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