Posted by: jevcat | December 9, 2016

Chessie and the Chinese Food, or:  “A Kit-napping”


The Culprit, looking innocent

So, yesterday at lunch, knowing I had things to do when I got home, when my assistant said she was going for Chinese food and asked if I wanted some, I splurged, and, instead of my usual small-hot & sour soup-and-egg roll (“What is it with you and the soup and egg roll?” she always asks), I requested she get me the pepper steak lunch special, which also included the above-mentioned delicacies, as well as brown rice.

Since that is too much for me to eat at one sitting, my thinking was that I would eat half at lunch and bring the other half home to nuke for supper, when I had finished what I needed to do.  Rushing to get out of the office (an hour after my supposed quitting time), I put on jacket and backpack and headed out, got halfway down the stairs, remembered the Chinese food still residing under my desk, sighed, trudged back up the stairs, retrieved it, and headed home.

Arriving home nearly two hours later, having spent much of the trip reminding myself that I was tired and not to leave the bag of Chinese food behind, I plunked the shopping bag down next to the elevator, pushed the button, and moved the yard or so down to the boxes to collect our mail.  Tacked to the bulletin board over the mailboxes was a sign stating that a workout machine in the second floor hallway was free for anyone to take.  It had been sitting there for a few days, and my Beloved and I had noticed it going down the stairs Monday on the way to the hospital, where he is now a stem cell transplant patient.  He had remarked that it was a good machine and, knowing he will need extensive physical therapy and strength-building in the coming months (and knowing what our budget is), I was excited.  I rushed to the elevator and upstairs to ring him and ask if he wanted me to claim it.  He did.  I grabbed my keys, ran downstairs, dragged it the length of the hall, wrestled it into the elevator, and repeated the process in reverse on our floor, angling through the door and into our living room; then, triumphant, I texted him that we were now the proud possessors of a workout machine.

He rang me back, we had a lovely chat, after which I fed the cats and scooped the litter boxes, and then I sat down at the computer to do the work I needed to accomplish.  Somewhere during this time, I heard a very loud rustling.  Our middle-aged cat, George, is beautiful, fat, and complacent.  Our yearling, Chessie, is none of those things, and periodically is addressed (usually loudly and with some exasperation) by his full name:  Chesapeake Eugene (long story).  I assumed Chessie was doing something somewhere between mischievous and the wreaking of total devastation.  When the sound continued and was followed by what sounded like papers falling, I looked up.  Not seeing anything, I walked from den to living room:  nothing; kitchen:  nothing; bathroom:  nothing; bedroom:  nothing.  Shaking my head, I returned to my work.

Finally finished, hungry, dreams of pepper steak having filled my head for some time, I decided it was time to consume my meal.  I walked to where I had left my backpack, near the front door:  nothing; to the kitchen:  nothing; den:  nothing; living room:  nothing.  I looked over things, under things, behind things:  nothing.  In my excitement, did I leave it down by the elevator and mail boxes?  Grabbing my keys, I headed downstairs again:  nothing.  Back upstairs, I retraced my steps.  I even went into the bedroom:  nothing.

As it was around 11:00 by then, I finally surrendered, thinking I must have left it behind by the mailboxes and someone removed it.  I did give one last look to the area around the chair next to the phone, where I thought I remembered setting it down, and, a petition to the usually reliable St. Anthony having proved ineffectual, I got out some leftover salad and the last slice of leftover pizza, warmed the latter up, poured myself a glass of wine, which by this time I felt I deserved, and had my belated supper.

Lastly, I made myself a nice, comforting cup of tea and, turning out lights as I went, headed for the bedroom.  Setting the cup on the bedside table, I sat down, and my right foot touched something.  Looking down, I saw the edge of a plastic shopping bag poking just a bit out from under the bed.  “I don’t remember putting a plastic bag under the bed,” I thought (after Midnight, I can turn into a bear of very little brain).  As I gave the bag a tug, the Duane Reade logo came into sight:  the sturdy bag into which I had put the Chinese food to safeguard it while it accompanied me home, now with a broken handle.  Inside was a brown bag, and, nestled in the bottom, safe in its little plastic containers, my Chinese food.  I carried it through the dark apartment into the kitchen, surprising myself by narrowly avoiding the unaccustomed bulk of the exercise machine, disposed of the plastic bag, wedged the brown bag into the fridge, and went to bed.  Perhaps I should first have said thank you to St. Anthony, but he really could have let me know sooner.

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