Bill talked to me while he fixed the door handle. He never looked at the outside handle, inside handle, button, post, or spring. My 86-tear-old daddy, Allen Jobe, found the spring I had spent 15 minutes on my hands and knees looking for. He said, “It was just sitting there in the kitchen floor.”
Bill says he can do this kind of stuff without looking, because, “I don’t know how many of these I have put on.” But it doesn’t satisfy. How hard can it be to do the first time? Why would it be complicated to hold four pieces of a door handle and thread two screws? Why? How? I am flummoxed. I feel adrift, like a piece of broken styrofoam floating on the surface of a pool nobody uses anymore. I am undone, by this defeat and the multitude of others in my life. In the process of being hired by the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Felloowship, the board talked to over 20 people who have known me. They said nice things, but I’m sure there are more than 20 who could talk about my foibles, weaknesses, failures, crimes, sins, and failures to yield.
That phrase, “failure to yield,” has always been catchy. When do we yield? When do we fail to yield? Kenny Rogers sang, “Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em,” Clearly these are critical pieces of information to accrue, but how, when, where does do such knowledge come from, and is there not always the danger that such knowledge will come too late, just as the train is passing, just after they drew yours and your brother’s birth numbers in the lottery. And would we do good by that mountain of cash, anyway?
The door handle has been installed. Bill did it without looking. Daddy found the lost spring.