Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 20, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 20, 2004 – My Saturday clients cancelled our meeting at the last minute this morning – a family concern. They didn’t elaborate – I didn’t ask. We re-scheduled for next week. With an unexpected Saturday afternoon to myself, I decided to get a head start on Christmas by wrapping the Inukshuk 12 and printing their accompanying identification cards.
I finished the cards in the early afternoon and then went downstairs to retrieve said aforementioned Inukshuk from my kitchen cupboard. There they were standing at attention (as if they have any alternative) behind closed doors – just waiting for adoption at my holiday dinner.
I lifted up Joe’s Innukshuk and carried him over to the counter. He stared back at me, face inscrutable – posture erect. BoBo’s little buddy came out next, and to my dismay he collapsed on the counter in a pile of stones, his little head rolled across the tile and dropped onto the floor. I surveyed the remnants of a once noble Inukshuk. I picked up his bits and studied the glue. It had congealed into a transparent, but still tacky substance. Obviously the wrong glue for the application. This annoyed me because I had been very explicit in my explanation to the “orange apron” at The Home Depot, and he assured me that he’d given me the exact bonding agent required for a stone on stone application. Well a hex on him and his Aunt Mabel too.
The only good thing about this discovery is that it came before I’d wrapped the Inukshuk 12. Otherwise they would have been falling apart, even as their new owners were trying to get acquainted with them at my dinner party. That would have been a mockery of my best creative intentions. My first stop was the lumber store down the street to buy a new glue. I left with assurances that this was the perfect product for my requirements. Back home again, I picked up each Inukshuk in turn and twisted his various body parts. A head came off here – an arm there – and another fell apart completely. Inukshuk surgery was definitely required.
Armed with a bottle of Weldbond “More Than Great Glue” – I approached the Inukshuk 12. I felt a bit like a benevolent parent assuring a child that “This is for your own good and later in life you will thank me” as I twisted off heads, arms and feet. Nary a peep was emitted by any of the stoic, little gnomes. Four hours in the makeshift operating theatre of my kitchen left most of the serious repairs completed. A few heads and arms remain propped up against the appropriate body, waiting for the glue to harden to a consistency that would allow the addition of the final body part.
Slippage is a potential problem with Inukshuk surgery, and a grotesque outcome could easily be the result of a body part added too soon, and left unattended. I am heartened by the relative good humour of my charges. No recriminations were spouted and blame was not assigned. In retrospect I might have done a test assembly to determine the resilience of the bonding agent and not made assumptions about its strength.
But I was new to the Inukshuk world. Scrummie didn’t offer any advice and I didn’t think to question him about his joints. I left Scrummie in my office during the afternoon, thinking that it might be painful for him to see the extent of the reconstructive surgeries, or hear however whispered, any moans of discomfort.
We never really know in life what we may be called upon to do, and this was definitely outside the realm of my prior medical expertise. However I came through with a steady hand, glue gun at the ready, and fully prepared to make microscopic adjustments if required. That’s the thing about life – we’re never aware of our capabilities until we’re tested. I’m willing to bet that most times we actually surprise ourselves with our competence, might I say on occasion, maybe even our brilliance. Instead of being frightened by unknown ventures, we should embrace them. One never knows where a path might lead. Perhaps to a new career, a wonderful friendship, travel or personal challenges, learning and adventure.
Sitting on the sidelines is a sad surrender in a life that could be full of exciting things. It’s never too late to make different choices, to grow emotionally and spiritually and to become all we’re capable of being. The Innkshuk 12 have been reborn and I don’t see a forlorn one in the lot.