(found floating with the snowflakes and the icicles and the like)
I’m always amazed at the wisdom contained in all those old sayings, these adages and those little kernels of so-called truth that get passed down from one wheezing generation to the next. How could such intelligence and such charm be contained in something handled by so many people, spreading it from one person to another, keeping it alive decade after decade.
You know, then you just find yourself in a situation where it all does make sense, when the figurative expression has some literal meaning, a tangible weight to it, and that weight comes smashing down over your head.
See, I wasn’t having the best day. The little space heater that John let me borrow from the basement sat underneath my desk, and well, the damned thing overheated. It went chugging along and chugging along and spitting out that humid, singeing heat, and I could not turn it off. I’m pretty sure it melted the polyester in the carpet and fused itself right onto the floor, so here’s hoping management doesn’t stick me with some maintenance charge to clean it all up.
It was just one of those days – there’s another of those funny little sayings. But really, it was. I sat in my chair and felt sweat pool at the feet of my nylons. I choked on this reheated, crappy air being recycled around my desk. It was just one of those horrible, awful days – the kind when you realize that, hey Nancy, you could have just unplugged the stupid space heater the whole time, except you only realize that as you’re walking out of the office, after you’ve burnt your nylons, after you’ve sweated through every layer of clothing that you’re wearing.
Then, like a breath of fresh air, it hit me. I opened the door, and a big gust of fresh air smacked me right in the face. The little beads of sweat trickling down my forehead froze immediately, and my lungs cried out in sweet, sweet relief.
Suddenly I was smiling and happy and rejuvenated. Suddenly, I was dancing across the icy parking lot and into my car. Suddenly, I didn’t care any more about that worthless space heater.
A little breath of fresh air, that’s all I needed. I know I’ve heard it before, but it would have been nice if someone reminded me of it earlier that afternoon.