Sweet, juicy and opulent fruit notes laced with florals open Anarige (Givenchy 1991).  It’s rich, complex, feminine and light.  And somehow in the mix of proud fruity florals with the cedar, musk, sandalwood and vanilla a bit of an olfactory paradox emerges – bold yet gentle and quiet but outspoken.  This is a particularly becoming fragrance.

Top notes: peach, plum, orange, mandarin, rosewood and neroli.  Middle notes: mimosa, neroli, tuberose, gardenia, acacia and black currant.   Base notes: musk, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, Tonka bean and cedar.

Summer Breezes: Part IV of IV

The next day at work starts off decently enough.  I receive a text message from Sarah early in the morning saying that she’s decided to take the rest of the summer off and go into treatment.  I’m extremely relieved.

Meghan shows up for work without a trace of anything showing from the night before, matter of fact she’s there before I am.  I consider asking her about what happened but she seems to be avoiding me.

Aside from the fact that our supervisor is missing, everything is going as usual.  We’re all painting one rather large room with the windows open. The sun shines in gloriously and everything is bright and yet mellow.  I miss Sarah.

“I miss Sarah,”  says Justin.  I turn around and say that I do too.

“Yeah.  She’s cool.  Where is she anyway?”  Trevor asks genuinely.

I don’t say a word.  I just keep painting.

“Hey, did you get that text message I sent you last night about my fantasy football league for this fall?”  Justin asks Trevor.

“Yeah, I was just busy last night.”  Trevor stands up and stretches.  “My girlfriend and I went out to the free concert over at Brooks College in Wilton.”

“Oh yeah?  How was that?”

“It was pretty good…”  I hear the two guys exchange snickers and I turn around to see them smiling at each other like they have a secret joke.

“Nice man.  Nice.”  Justin is smiling slyly.

“Well, what can I say?  I’m irresistible.” Trevor jokes with a sly smile in response.

I look over at Meghan and she looks awkwardly away.  Then I stare at the wall covered in wet paint in front of me.  The paint drips and smears.  It smells bad.  I place my roller down and walk into the rooms down the hall with the windows open.  I lay on the hardwood floor in the quiet and stare up at the ceiling.  I breath deeply.  In and out.  In and out.

“Hey.  Why are you in here alone?”  Trevor walks in the room and sits down next to me.  I have no idea what to say to him, but I try to be polite and not assume anything.

“I’m just thinking.”  I sit up and smile.

He lays back on the ground and says, “Hey, don’t let me get you up.”  Then he stretches out and sighs rather dramatically.

I remain sitting.  Silence.  Then I stand up and am walking out the door when Justin walks in instead and I’m trapped.

“Hey guys.  Whatcha doing in here?” Justin asks playfully.

“Well I was laying down.”  Trevor answers.  “I guess Ingrid was getting up to leave.”  He looks at me and says, “Ingrid, you should stay.”

I stand still for a second in response.  I don’t know what to do.

“Ok.  Whatevs…  I’m so bored today.”  Justin announces pleasantly before leaving the room.

“You seem serious more than even you usually are today, Ingrid,”  Trevor says sitting up.  Then he looks at me for another second before saying, “You know your face looks really pretty without makeup.”  He gets up, walks over and stands in front of me for a second and then touches my cheek with his fingers.  “I was right, you really aren’t wearing any makeup are you?”  He grabs my chin and pinching it slightly while staring at my lips.  “Do you ever wear lipstick?  I feel like it would look really nice on your lips.”  Then he looks up and into my eyes, still holding my chin with his fingers and staring for a long moment.  For a few seconds I’m passionately taken up with the way he looks at me, the way he touches my face, but then I feel something close to hatred instead.   He could hurt so many people and he doesn’t seem to care.  But I do.  Damn but I do.  He seems stupid, selfish and foolish all at once.  How dare he fill me with such passion when it seems it can only lead to even more pain than I already feel.  And, more pain for him too, but I am, sadly, more focused on my own suffering.  I’m enraged, but I stand still and breathe quietly, look down at the ground and away from him. Then I walk away.

“Thank you.  I’ll consider your suggestion,”  I say somewhat coldly as I walk out the door.

At noon we are all excused on a lunch break.  Meghan seems to disappear somewhere.  I haven’t talked to her all morning. I take my lunch and walk in the backyard near the tree.  Sitting down I take out my sandwich and take a bite. Thankfully, today I brought a book with me.  I enjoy the solitude of the moment before getting up to go inside again. Justin walks out just as I’m heading in and is sipping a can of soda.  We exchange pleasantries.

I walk in the house we’re painting and find Trevor laying on the floor reading a book as well.  I notice that he’s very engrossed in his book too.  He seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself.  I walk over to the door near him quietly.  He hasn’t seen me and then with all the strength I can muster I slam the door as hard as possible.  I smile.

Later that day we’re all in separate rooms and I sneak up behind Trevor and find his cell phone resting with his sweatshirt. I take the phone and without him noticing walk into the kitchen holding it.  When I get in the kitchen I open the refrigerator and find a bag of cheese curds.   Smiling to myself, I place the phone in with the cheese curds.  I put the cheese curds back in the refrigerator.  And, it suddenly occurs to me that I just ruined someone’s bag of cheese curds.  I feel bad, but I’m still laughing quietly with a frightening amount of glee.

I walk over to the wall by the entryway and start sanding.  For about a half an hour it’s pretty peaceful around the house. We all are in separate places, sanding, painting, spackling.  Brian, our supervisor has shown up and is apparently on his way over to the site.  Apparently he had been sick and he wants to come in today to try to make up for lost time, even if it’s just for an hour or two.  Mike called Justin to tell everyone.  We’re all expecting him to show up any minute.

At about three in the afternoon, the door opens and in walks Brian.  He seems a bit out of breath and after closing the door behind himself he greets me and starts friendly conversation.

“Hey, Ingrid.  Wasn’t it Ingrid?”  He looks disheveled but sincere, and he finally seems to have caught his breath.

“Yes, it’s Ingrid.”  I smile in his general direction.  He begins walking around the house with his clipboard and a pen.  And then we all stop and hear the rather loud sound of a frog, “Ribbet. ribbet.”

Meghan walks in the room just as the sound comes again, “ribbet, ribbet.”   We all look at each other with confused expressions on our faces.  Brian looks particularly confused and actually somewhat alarmed.  He raises his hands and says with some intensity, “Ok.  Everyone, be quiet.”

“Ribbet, ribbet.”    The rather loud frog sound seems to be coming from the refrigerator.  All of our heads turn towards the refrigerator at an oddly synchronized time, and just as Justin walks in the room Meghan squeals and yells with a jump back, “There’s a frog in the refrigerator!”   We all look at each other again and I walk over to the fridge, suddenly becoming aware of what could be happening and that there is in fact, not an actual frog in the refrigerator, but a phone.  A phone making frog sounds from a bag of soft, squishy, cheese.

“Wait, if there’s a frog in there, I should be the one to get it out,”  Justin says firmly.   He walks over to me and grabs the door of the refrigerator before I can, but not before Brian screams, “Stop!  Freeze!”

We all look startled in Brian’s direction.  His eyes are ablaze as he stares at the refrigerator with intense anxiety and some sort of rage.  “I know what this is.  Oh I know what this is.”  He walks over the refrigerator and stands in front of the refrigerator silently.  “My wife put that frog in the fridge.  She hates me.”  He looks almost frozen in fear.

“Isn’t his wife dead,”  Justin whispers to Meghan who answers, “I think so?”

Trevor walks in just as another, “ribbet, ribbet”  emerges from the fridge.  “What’s going on guys?!”  Trevor asks before walking over the fridge as a final, “ribbet, ribbet”  is heard.   “What the hell?!  That’s my phone.”

“No, it’s a frog.  A frog my wife put in the fridge to torture me.  She hates me.”  Brian, now shaking, turns, and runs out the door, slamming it behind him.

“What?!  What the hell?”  Trevor looks stunned before declaring, “Somebody call my phone!”

Justin calls Trevor’s phone.  We all stand there waiting to hear the frog.  “Ribbet , ribbet.”

Trevor raises his hand and points to the fridge, then opens the door.  “Ribbet, ribbet.”  We all stare in the fridge. “Ribbet, ribbet.”  Trevor reaches in, and grabs the cheese curds, staring at them with a look of horror, intrigue and anger.  He rips open the bag and pulls out his phone.  He wrinkles his face and as he exclaims, “What the…”  I look over at Justin and Meghan who both seem to be more intrigued than anything else.

“Who did this to my phone?  Why is my phone in a bag of cheese?”  He suddenly seems totally confused more than anything else.

I feel guilty.  “Does it still work?”  I ask.

He examines it and then with a look of knowing glances up at me.  He looks sad suddenly and then places his phone on the counter before silently walking off.  I walk over to his phone and pick it up.  I examine it to see if it works. Everyone else is talking in the background, but I can’t hear what they’re saying.  I look at the screen shot on the phone.  It’s a photo of a kitten.  I look over at him now and see that he still seems sad.  And, despite still feeling justified, I also feel terrible.

On the way out the door that day we get a call from Mike.  Apparently we’ll be assigned a new supervisor because Brian officially quit working.  I feel unbelievably bad.

Meghan and Justin leave together.  She needs a ride to her car.  I wonder how she explained it to him…   Trevor walks silently next to me for almost a block before he says with a lot of emotion, “Why are you so mean to me?”  I look over at him finally. His eyes are filled with tears.  They seem quite real.

“I’m sorry.”  I don’t know what else to say right away.  “I tend to be judgemental.  And I make an ass of myself sometimes I suppose.  I’m sorry.”

He stops walking and stares at me for a second, trying to register my words.  “I think I know what you’re really trying to say, Ingrid.  I really do.”    He breathes deeply then looks off to the side.

“You know, you’re probably right about things a lot of the time when it comes to people.  But you shouldn’t assume that you’re always right.”

“I don’t.  Not really.  But…  I…”

“Well, it might be advisable for you to be more careful how you dole out your brand of justice.”

“I know.  I’m not God.  I’m sorry…   I’m sorry about your phone.  Is it ok?”  He nods silently, staring at the ground in response.  Then he shrugs, looks up and smiles and without a trace of judgement says.  “I hope Brian is ok.  You should really be more concerned about him.”

“I know.  I am actually.”

Trevor reaches out, gives me a friendly hug and then says, “See you tomorrow.  Stay away from my phone.”

“I won’t go near it.”  Feeling a bit dissatisfied, but better regardless, I nod and walk off.

That night I order pizza and eat it by myself when I get a call from Sarah.  We trade stories.  “What?  You put that cute guy’s phone in a bag of cheese curds?!”  She’s laughing.  “That’s awesome!  If I ever make you that mad please don’t tell me.  That’s just awesome.”


Well…  last night we slept in our new apartment.  I’m satisfied with it and as I say that I feel a bit guilty because it’s a nice place and I realize how fortunate I am to have a home at all.  So many people in this world do not…  I’m just still missing our place back in St. Paul.  I’m sorry if you’re tired of reading that. 🙂

The city of Seattle and the Puget Sound are, as I said, really truly lovely…  The new shining glass buildings, the energy of the people, the steep hills and the dramatic sky are all captivating.  But it’s not St. Paul…  🙂  Beautiful city though..

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