Oy. It wouldn’t be a few days with a friend without a minor household disaster and a few embarrassing D’oh! incidents that will get dragged out in conversation for years to come.
It was lovely. Lloyd was sitting at the kitchen table and I was browning a stuffed pork loin chatting about his magical experience watching snow fall in Glacier Park as he ate breakfast on the Empire Builder. He’d been inside the house for about ten minutes. Then we heard falling water, a torrent, a veritable Niagara of noise in the general area of the laundry room. Yup, two inches of water on the floor, in the litter box, on the furnace. It poured from the ceiling light fixture, which indicated that something very very bad was going on in the upstairs bathroom.Inexplicably, one of the washbasin faucets had popped off and water was being flung around the bathroom. I guess I’m glad the house has superior water pressure.
Of course it took Lou what seemed like hours to turn off the water because the knobs seemed welded to the pipes. Of course, he had to remove the door of the vanity. Lloyd and I spent the next fifteen minutes spreading towels on three rooms worth of flooring while Lou stemmed the flood from the faucet. It didn’t get properly repaired until after Lloyd left — no wiggling the hot water faucet lest you conjure another deluge. We brushed our teeth in the powder room. As I said, oy!
On Michigan Avenue I was so mesmerized at the sight of a gentleman hailing me a cab (it’s been years, and Lloyd’s technique is excellent) that it took me awhile to realize that the folks yelling “Sir! Sir” were trying to get Lloyd’s attention. That horn honking behind us was the taxi waiting at the curb. We felt like rubes. The taxi hailer told me:” That’s two things that would never happen in Manhattan. No one would have told us about the cab, and even if he had, someone would have nabbed it before we got there.”
And, oh yeah,I told the house guest that his laundry was probably dry. He went to fetch it only to tell me that I’d never moved them from the washer before I punched the dryer’s on button. I’m going to blame the scintillating dinner table conversation.
On to the excursions, in Cliff’s Notes format.
Millennium Park never fails to push up my endorphin levels — the glittering embrace of the curves of The Bean, the people watching, the kids paddling barefoot in the fantastic fountain, the flowers, the breeze off Lake Michigan.
The highlight of my Loop Architectural Tour is always the amazed expression on a friend’s face when I walk him into Frank Lloyd Wright’s lobby of the Burnhum and Root Rookery Building.
And as far as I’m concerned, Daley can be mayor for life because of the gazillion or so tulips that transformed Michigan Avenue into a botanist’s fairyland.
Lloyd’s visit recharged some of my battery levels, and gave me enough material for a longish Alice Munro -style short story . I think I’ll call it Friend of my Youth. Thanks, Friend.