Oh boy! You all (three of you, Nilla you no longer count because I found the thread, and the link..... Big trouble lady! That idiot has it all out of order too. If your going to plagiarize as least do it in the correct order.) made it to the halfway mark! Take a break from bitching about Kinga for a moment, and scroll through yet another wall of text.

This is part four of an eight part series. If you are just joining, it's best to start at the beginning.

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"Day Three, Morning

I've been in the office for about 4 hours now as I begin to type this... I feel an odd hesitation toward looking here at what people have offered up regarding the things I wrote about earlier recent events.

If someone were to ask me "what the hell are you doing?" with concern to describing in such fictional clarity, the non-fictional details of this part of my personal life and the lives of people around me... It would be difficult to respond.

Who ever finds things of value in life exactly where they're supposed to be. I consider this motorcycle community a cross section of peers and of average folk, of common and uncommon women and men. I suppose that my feelings careen more off of the thoughts related to "What would be the ultimate value of not posting and receiving feedback and advice buried amongst the humor and non-sequiturs?" There is an advantage in anonymity that can be measured against the non-existent amount of insight I could get from the biased views (left and right of moral) of people who know me well.

—-

There were only a few cars in the parking lot as I rode in. It was still early enough for the air to have a biting cold, but late enough for the sun to shine brightly and cast long sunrise shadows across the asphalt.

Amy's car was one of the few and it surprised me not at all. She had backed it into the parking space this morning and I noticed that it had no front license plate. While asking myself why I found that detail important, I made the slow half circle into a spot closer to the front entrance and shut down the motor...

There is very little of the commute that I remembered this morning, or perhaps the moral side of my subconscious was already in place to protect me; no ready subject of conversation at hand, no casual banter.

Only half the lights were on, on the main floor. Someone would eventually come in later in the morning and switch on the rest, but I preferred the subdued spot lighting. It gave the open spaces definition and areas of visual interest, rather than the blank, antiseptic flood of light when they were all on.

The sound of my boots on the hardwood was oddly reassuring. A mental reference from the day before that was unchanged and unchangeable. I made the left turn toward my office and past the cleaning woman who had just begun to uncoil the extension cord of her vacuum. I stepped over the orange coils just as I heard a voice.

"Hey!"

I looked over my shoulder and Amy was down the hall, leaning out the door of the copy room. She had on a white silk blouse this morning, and her hair was in a single ponytail. I waved and smiled but said nothing. Clearing the extension cord I continued down the hall.

Walking in it felt like entering a safe house probably because it was familiar, more possibly because it had a solid door. I tossed my backpack and helmet on the chair next to the lamp and turned to close it.

Amy was already halfway down the hall coming toward me and clutching some documents to her chest. She was saying something while simultaneously giving the cleaning woman an irritated look since the loud "whirr" of the vacuum drowned out her words.

Since anything I said would have been lost in the din, all I could think to do was hold up my hand in an ambiguous signal while I closed the door. It seemed ridiculous to me the drama that was ensuing as the confused look on her face was eclipsed to a small vertical shard as the door shut with a solid *thump*

Just a few days... and everything felt like it was tumbling into chaos as if she and I were not simply aquaintenances, but forever lovers. I found myself laughing out loud at the hilarity of the situation while leaning lightly on the door with my hand. Or maybe it was something else that I felt, more serious, and that I only used "hilarity" to describe the feelings as a default.

Day Two, the late afternoon

The ride home the day before had been as uneventful as this morning's. I considered the theory that perhaps there was a conservation law of life stress along with that of matter. To increase the amount in one area, the pressure must proportionately lessen in another so that total stress would remain unchanged. It was amusing to think about nonetheless, and without music while on the motorcycle, it passed the time while on the road.

Nora's kindly words of threat were still fresh in my mind, as was the confrontation that I witnessed between she and Amy. I knew that this evening I would be talking to J about it. I just had no idea how to broach the subject without blowing it completely out of proportion.

I parked the bike in the street as I normally did, to let it cool in the evening breeze rather than stifle in the still air of the garage.

I already had my gear off except my jacket and Gina suddenly came running up and grabbed my arm, pulling me toward her house as I desperately tried to pull my last earplug out.

"You have to check this out!", she exclaimed with allot of excitement.

She was in a red t-shirt and white shorts and barefoot. There was a paint ladder propped in the driveway of her house and a small toolbox.

"Ok, stand here..", she positioned me in the middle of the driveway where her husband normally parked his motorcycle.

Pulling a garage remote from her back pocket of her shorts, she "aimed" it with emphasis as most women tend to do with non-directional remote devices, and the garage door, as would be expected, began to slowly open. It came to a stop at full open, which for me, was NOT expected since a few days earlier, she had tried to maneuver her Expedition to one side of the garage bay, backed into one of the guide rails of the door, and bent it.

Since that day their garage door would open about 3 feet and stop, the motor probably sensing the increased load as a roller tried to squeeze past the bent portion of the rail. I made sure to be properly enthusiastic about the successful spectacle while visually examining the tool marks around the bent area. There were pliers and a ball peen hammer laying next to the toolbox, but the ladder's purpose was baffling me.

"How did you do it finally? Did you bend it back to shape?", I moved closer to inspect the area which appeared to have been attacked by some steel clawed rodent.

"No! I tried to do that", she said proudly while laughing, "and it didn't work, and so I read the instructions for the garage door."

"And?"

"It has this adjustment screw thing where you can change how much weight it takes to make the door stop, so I just turned it to max and now it opens all the way!"

With the mystery of the paint ladder solved, my mind then moved to the mental subject of "overloaded electrical motor" I asked to see the remote and while standing inside the garage, I opened and closed the door several times, watching the roller in question *squeeze* with difficulty past the damaged section of rail. I also noted that as it pulled thru the tight spot, the opener above me shook under the stress and the rail bounced up and down slightly in its mountings.

Gina stood outside observing my evaluation, almost appearing to be in wait for a seal of approval from me. On the 5th or 6th operation, she hopped across the threshold, standing next to me inside the garage and looking at what seemed to be catching my interest...

"Is it not working ok?", her smiles had turned into a confused frown.

"It seems to be ok, I was just worried about if it was stressing some parts", there was that word stress again.

"Try it again and let me see..."

The door came quietly down, made a moderately loud *clunk* as the roller pinched momentarily, and then closed completely against its seal on the floor.

I pressed the button once again, and... nothing...

"What happened?"

"I'm not sure...", two more repeated presses, then a third...

"Try aiming it at the opener...", I glanced at her with a look of quiet wonder, but with few other options, I amusedly took her advice. Three more assertive presses and still nothing.

"Oh! It might be the batteries!", Gina suddenly blurted out.

With another mystery solved, I breathed yet another sigh of relief that I hadn't been the one with my hands yet again on the goods when the giant machine broke down.

At that exact moment, the last image in my mind was of her face with a beaming smile, which was at one time fed by her successes in the mechanical repair and diagnostic field, and her solving of the mysterious non-functioning remote. I say my "last" image because at that precise moment, the time-delayed lights in the garage switched off, plunging us both in almost total darkness.

In the dark, I heard her gasp quietly, and then start to laugh, and I really couldn't help laughing either. The day had been just too much to soak in, and this seemed like as good a way as any to wind it up.

"Ok... hang on... I'll get to the switch, be careful because there's boxes everywhere where I was moving things around for the ladder.", I heard her moving away from me toward the house door. I listened as she stumbled about and began tapping the side of the expedition, following it like a guide rope, and I decided finally to just follow the sounds and see if I could find the side door first.

That's when I heard her knock something over with a crash.

"Are you ok?!", I asked immediately

She laughed in response, 'Yeah I fell over, hang on... She was laughing hard now.

"Well you're not hurt are you?"

"No, I just fell forward on that box of Christmas stuff, I'm fi.. OWW!"

"Geez, I'm sorry!", I had stepped on her foot... There was so little sensitivity with the track boots on.

"It's ok, let's just get to the side door", the slit of sunlight coming in from the bottom of the door was just 10 feet to the right.

A bit more stumbling and "ghoul walking" as she called it, with our arms stretched out in front of us and we made it to the door and out into the sun! I had a huge smile on my face and she was still laughing about the whole thing. It really was a ridiculous scene.

"What the heck are you guys up to?!"

We both looked over at the same time and could not have looked guiltier even if we HAD been doing something to feel guilty about. I was secretly thankful I still had on my jacket and at least looked completely presentable.

My neighbor from across the street was standing there on the sidewalk staring at us, waiting for an answer. He had a bemused look on his face that to me was the unmistakable look of "Gotcha!" We both quickly interjected our stories of my just coming home from work and her working on the garage door all day, in a simultaneous manner that was perfectly in step with how two people, hiding something, would respond.

I stopped and let Gina continue with her story while I took my jacket off in the afternoon heat, and while I did I noticed that he was looking her up and down. After I got my jacket completely off I glanced at Gina as well simply assuming that he was doing what all my other male neighbors did with regularity when she was around, and I noticed in horror that her knees were both dirty and covered with dust and grime from when she fell forward in the garage!

I looked back over at my neighbor who seemed preoccupied with his own thoughts and mentioned that I needed to get back over to the house before the wife got home so I could get some cleaning and projects out of the way. In parting I made some random comment while I gave Gina a hug goodbye that J would kill me otherwise.

"What a way to go though eh?", my neighbor tossed out as he walked back across the street laughing.

Gina was beet red, which probably didn't do anything to dispel the manifestation of what we both knew was another rampant rumor, but given my day that day. I chalked it up as par for the course. I gave her another hug and pointed to her knees as I turned to leave.

By the time I was halfway across the lawn her next comment was

"Shit!" followed by more laughter...

J got home about 2 hours later..."

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Tune in tomorrow

Part Five