I’m taking the daughter to an interview at a Manhattan architectural firm because she solved an incredible engineering issue that for centuries perplexed even the most masterful of architects. …
I’m taking the daughter to an interview at a Manhattan architectural firm because she solved an incredible engineering issue that for centuries perplexed even the most masterful of architects. The daughter is only seven years-old.
The whole family’s in tow; the husband, me, and the daughter. We enter a lobby where every inch of glossy black wall is covered in clocks that say 6:15 a.m. Our appointment is at 10 and I know we’re not that early. I look at every clock trying to figure out what’s wrong. When I see one that says 10:05, I surmise the others must be broken. I panic. We’re late for the appointment. We need to get on the elevator. But first, I ask the husband to verify the time. He walks off to talk with the front desk and doesn’t come back. The daughter, twirling and hopping, stresses me out. I grab her hand and go looking for the husband. He’s at the barista ordering a whipped coffee.
“Have you verified the time?” I ask, but he can’t answer because he’s in a catatonic state staring at the coffee maker. He lifts a hand, palm toward me; a gesture I know well. It says just calm down. I’m furious. It’s almost 10:30. I drag the gyroscopic daughter to the elevator feeling at a disadvantage because the husband has always been the better navigator.
In the elevator, I take out a small piece of paper that’s supposed to have the name of the architectural firm on it. As I unfold it, it becomes huge, bigger than me, but the name’s not there. Ah, but I have a second paper in the other pocket. Unfolded it’s just as big as the first and much more unruly. There’s quite a bit of chicken scratch on this one and absolutely no information on where we’re going. The daughter bounces, jumps and paws at me. I’m annoyed. And then I remember, the architects are on the fourth floor.
The elevator panel has only four floors. I say to myself, if I’m wrong, I’ll just have three more floors to check. I press the top button and more floors appear. I press it again and even more floors appear. Other people get on the elevator and press buttons adding even more floors; countless floors.
The elevator rises and then abruptly stops. The daughter and I are thrust into the bright lights and clean white walls of a loft-style office clamoring with people all dressed as daffodils. This must be it, I say, but it isn’t. It’s a fashion enterprise, and I’m wearing something I sewed myself, an outfit the husband likes to point out, lies somewhere between Handmaid’s Tale and clown.
People hurriedly crisscross in front of us. No one stops to ask why we’re even there. I step in front of one of the daffodils and demand, “Where is the architectural firm?”
“How would I know if you don’t?” says the daffodil who then turns and walks away.
I yell after her, “The name is something like Mush or Nash only with two syllables. Like Mushkin. Yes, Muskin Architects! That’s it!” The daffodil doesn’t stop. None of them do. They don’t care. I want to cry. We are lost and still the daughter’s exuberance has not diminished a bit. She pulls my arm straight out, spinning and dancing on the end of my fingers like a fish turning on a hook. I stare into space.
The dream ends and I wake up happy to be in my own bed. Happy that my daughter is grown and in the window restoration business. Happy that my husband long ago gave up coffee. Happy that I can go on wearing my handmade clown outfits without concern. Just plain happy.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here