It's an overcast evening outside. It must be 530 pm. The sun has tipped far west and is not yet over the mountains, but it's approaching. For some strange reason, everyone is inside, or at least it feels like that. It's hella quiet. All you can hear is the dust below your feet grind between the floor and your toes.
You can smell undertones of rain in the air when the gentle breeze meets you head on. It's a relaxing feeling. There's no point to you being in the shop doing anything. Your wife asked you to go get something from the freezer, but once out in the shop your ADHD mind wandered elsewhere. You're doing nothing more than meandering around, aimless in your intent. But it's ok though. It's Friday evening, everyone is leaving you alone and "it's great to be alive in the west" because it's so damn beautiful outside.
So, you putt around, tinker and meander as you choose.
Suddenly a down burst of wind cuts through the shop. Dust and random shit gets thrown in your eyes. The tossing of aimless paper and amazon boxes scatter around. You've got the look on your face like someone tossed flour on you unexpectedly. Yeah, a real awesome moment for you.
Well that was lame! you think to yourself.
Handfuls of leaves from other neighbors' yards are throughout your once, slightly cleaned shop. You can definitely smell the rain coming now. The sudden disrupting moment has passed allowing yourself to regather your thoughts. Aside from the sound of passing seconds leaving the wall clock tick-tocking away, you can hear what sounds like a beer bottle rolling.
Strange though, you don't have any beer bottles in your shop. Just full cans of cowboy piss Coors light you've not given to your best buddy as a "here you go! thanks for being awesome, gift of no purpose"... the only bottles that would be around would be Jose Cuervo... but those are square like, so they can be gripped with passion while pouring a drink, or seven.
The tumbling roll has you perplexed. Where the hell is this coming from? The roll has the odd sound like it's unbalanced. You can hear an off balance roll as it picks up speed, like a gyro trying to pick up momentum, or a beer can with some beer in it, but not much. Suddenly the roll stops. Whatever this is, clanks against one of the oversized 9" casters below the shop table.
Irritatingly curious, you round the table to check out what's happening.
You're now bent over, looking around for what the hell, then SPURT!! like an overheated can of compressed cheese-wiz suddenly expelling its manufactured-processed liquid gold all over the place... The anticipation ends quite anticlimactic.
I know you can see this.
After bending down looking for what you think is this mess of yellow shit, you find nothing. The wind is still moving outside. The palm fronds are sliding against each other making the sounds of large cardboard pieces sawing back and forth. Nothing special is happening outside. Although it's warm out there, you're not sweating. It's just oddly calm considering your uncertainty of what the hell is going on.
As you perch up from the bottom of the table to collect yourself, you are surprised to find someone standing on the opposite side of the table. The side you once found yourself standing at. You're more surprised that someone is there in the quiet oddness of the moment, rather than being startled that someone is suddenly there.
Without missing a beat, the person speaks,
"ok, look asshole, I don't have much time"
Insert startled face of slight disgust mixed with confusion, here.
Standing before you is a middle aged man wearing beach shorts, with dress socks accompanied by a pair of slides your kids wear after football. The socks have those old man sock suspenders on them, like a lawyer would be wearing if seen sitting on the can with his pants at his ankles. The beach shorts look like cool board shorts. Bright and colorful.. something you'd look for in a pair of running shoes.
There's a sweat stained, one size too small white-ish wife beater tucked into the board shorts. While standing there as he pants at waiting for you to respond. You can see the dark shadow of what must be a blackhole sized belly button. Curly chest hair leaks out around the shirt as if each strand is gasping for air as it's smashed around a stout barrel chest. While digesting what you are looking at you're overly distracted by what appears to be a smeared mustard stain. At closer look, you can see leftover mustard in the nail beds of his left hand...
Around this creature's trashed wife beater is a suit jacket. Slightly tattered, but for the most part it's the cleanest thing he's wearing. It's a bold grey. One that would easily pair with a deep red power tie.
He has a slightly sweaty, double chinned - cleft chinned glistening face that hasn't seen a razor, or shit, a shower in a week. Black rimmed glasses are sliding down from his greasy nose as he continually pops them back up. This time with an amazingly manicured right hand with a mysterious tattooed sleeve underneath the suit jacket. Mysterious in a way that you can see just enough, but caught off guard that such an art piece would be underneath the suit.
There's a full head of salt and pepper hair on this character. More hair that you would want, but you can tell the man has potential for great, envious hair. Through the lenses of his glasses are fiercely hazel eyes with piercing glimmers of emerald green throughout. He is looking directly through you, as if seeing your soul in its entirety. You'd swear that a fairy or unicorn shit on his face, missing everything but the eyeballs.
If this person didn't look like a misguided businessman, you can see the potential wrought within him. There's a sharp, good looking man behind whatever this is. Somewhere along the way though, he must have fallen very high from the unfortunate tree, hitting every confused branch on the way down before crashing to the bottom.
Thank shit you cannot smell him right now.
In a clear commanding, articulate voice he says
"hey! Do you want to kiss me or what?!"
The look on your face must be priceless right now.
He repeats himself, "look asshole!, I don't have much time."
He snaps his fingers passionately.
Hey!! hey! asshole! They're going to be here in a few minutes, and I don't have much time!"
Rather than argue with him, you irritatingly command back,
"hey asshole! what?!"
Like a small child needing to pee, he stands there jostling back and forth, almost on edge about to wet himself, but also a bit cautious like someone is about to come. He leans in and says,
"I want to give you 47 days."
This was not like a threat, it was delivered like a gift. Like you've won something. Although strange looking, there was a bit of trust in the delivery. What was this dude talking about?
What is 47 days?
Like 47 days to eat like shit, hit the beach right after work, but drunk while eating a corndog dipped in mustard like this homeboy in front of me?
"47 days what?!"
"dammit man!, do you want 47 days or not? Take it or leave it. they're going to be here soon!"
again, he impatiently stammers around waiting on you.
You are here in life because of the decisions you've made. Some easy, some hard. But you know this much about yourself, that if you had a gun to your head and someone gave you a yes or no question that had an unknown outcome (beyond living or dying), your normal good judgment answer would be a default no. Right now, a no is safer than what a yes could be, even if it was positive.
Here standing in front of you is this confused surfer-businessman, who by all accounts shot out like a lost genie from an invisible magic can of cheese-wiz and is now offering you an unknown 47 days...
To your uncharacteristic surprise, you say yes.
You simply respond with a yes.
In a quiet moment of collective awareness, the surfer-businessman leans further forward with a supportively curious smirk. Coddled between the mustard carnival hand and a well groomed professional hand, he hands you your phone. Like a diamond as big as a baseball with the preciousness of a baby, he places it in your hands as if bestowing the responsibility of a knight in shining armor to protect this.
Then a body slam of small persons fumble into the door. The door handle wiggles as if trying to gain traction to something not connecting. Suddenly a bath of children explode into the shop laughing and bantering amongst themselves as they race each other to the freezer. The shop door slams closed behind them creating a moment of strange pause. While one child is face deep in the freezer, the other two are looking at you.
As if someone caught you wiping your ass after a healthy number two, you're frozen with a strange look on your face. You're standing there, leaned over the table as if to kiss your girlfriend for the first time and are interrupted by your girlfriend's Dad. But instead, your stupid ass is holding your phone as if it was the most important thing in the world.
Like a break-dancer, you pan only your head to the left in hopes to get an element of embarrassed emotional support from the cheese-wiz genie. But like a fart in the wind, poof, it's just you. Looking down into your hands the mystical sound from back to the future plays. Dazed and confused you robotically pan to the right looking at the boys.
"are you ok, Dad?"
"because you look really strange right now"
I'm yeah, i'll be ok...
As soon as the pop-cycles were found the boys are gone, leaving you and your stupid look to yourself.
Your first instinct is to unlock your phone to gather the significance of the moment. As soon as it's unlocked, the first screen you're welcome to is your calendar. Where's all your shit?! There is nothing in it! Where are all the commitments and appointments? In almost a panic you find yourself going through weeks and weeks... nothing. All you see is birthdays, holidays and the sprinkled crap your wife has scheduled, but that's it.
Processing it deeper, you sit down and look again.
All the way at the top, flagged as occupying the entire day, it says:
Don't waste this (Day 1/47)
You kind of pop back like talking to your kid who just woke up having licked the ass of a dog and didn't brush his teeth before going to bed... he's your kid, so you have to wincingly re-engage with the conversation. It was unexpected, uncomfortable, but you will survive.
Suddenly it hits you!
That cheese-wiz genie just wiped out your entire calendar for the next 47 days. In the amount of time this confusing situation took, your phone would have had at least 1 spam call, 2 other phone calls from people you do not know, 5 text messages from customers, 7 emails, a Facebook message, a comment on Instagram asking a question about your project, 2 google business inquiries asking for quotes.
And right now... there is nothing but silence.
The reach of the mystical genie blanketed more than just your calendar... that asshole gave you a clean slate.
Sitting down, you let this sink in. For the first time in a long time, you are in a moment of extreme vulnerability.
You have just been given 47 days with nothing in them.
You know there's only so much money in the bank, so you for sure can't afford to spend anything on a vacation or a big ass project you've been putting off... to compound that, you still have bills and groceries that need to be paid and purchased. AND! that damn genie just wiped out all of your billable work for the next 47 days!... Well, you did ask for it.
Now like your limited calendar, the bank account is just as limited.
The genie's comments say, "don't waste this"
What would you do if you had 47 days?
If I had 47 days, I would exhaust every, single, one of them, to rebuild and change my life.
The clock is ticking! :)