It was a quiet morning. Lilly and I sat on the couch while I drank my coffee and scratched behind her ears. It isn’t particularly anything outside. It is grey, the snow is half melted so there is no majestic twinkling coming off of the white snow and the grass showing is more brown than green. The weathered grey fence blends in with the grey sky and it is just kind of ugly. The plants in the house look a little sad today too, all drooping. So I water them all with Lilly following at my heels.
I grab the clean laundry and start folding and putting away the three baskets I’ve been neglecting for days. Then I gather up the dirty clothes out of each of the six baskets. The one outside the bathroom smells musty again. Wet towels, we’ve told the kids not to put them in that one but I guess it would make sense to move it further from the bathroom if we really don’t want towels in it.
Once all the messes I see are cleaned up, I go take a nice hot shower. I like to look up out of the sky light and pretend I am bathing in hot rain but today the grey sky doesn’t inspire any imagination. I take my time and just stand in the heat and breathe in the steam for a while. I love showers; they are an escape from everything. I don’t have to worry about anything in the rest of the house or what people need because at that moment, I am completely indisposed. No one expects you to do anything but clean yourself when you are in a shower. It is also a reward; it feels so good to wash away the sweat, the grime, the feelings stuck to you since your last shower. You get to start fresh and new again. I don’t know how people survived back in the day when a bath happened so infrequently. I guess it is just another thing to be thankful for, running water still doesn’t exist everywhere.
Once I am out and dried off I run into a dilemma of what to wear. In recent times this is the most unpleasant part of my day. I keep all my clothes from when I was a few sizes smaller and I refuse to buy new ones that fit so with the exception of maybe five outfits, clothes hurt. I look out the window and I am not tempted to leave the house. Maybe I will just put on fresh pajamas.
I find a dress that fits loosely and doesn’t look too awful and decide on that. Since I’ve already decided to stay in today, it doesn’t matter how cold it is.
I finally sit down at my computer and work on a few non-writing things but I keep my blank word doc open just in case inspiration hits. Luckily I have some transcribing to do, then I balance our books and make a few appointments.
My doorbell rings. Lilly starts barking like a ferocious animal. I scoop her up and calm and shoosh her a bit before opening the door. To my great surprise I recognize these people although I’ve never met them. There is an older gentleman with grey-white hair, a dark-haired lady and a younger man standing on my step with balloons, flowers and huge cardboard checks. The lady, I know her name is Danielle from all the emails, says my name and tells me that I have won a super prize with PCH.
My heart jumps up through the top of my head. I don’t know what to do but without thinking about it I find myself jumping up and down, squealing and laughing. I didn’t even hear what she said about how much it was.
She handed me a huge check and I look down to see 1 million dollars written under my name. Wow, instant relief to all debt, I can get my man a few of the expensive toys he’s been drooling over. But before I daydream too far I notice the cameras and suddenly feel pretty self-conscious. I am still jumping up and down. Thank goodness I actually put on a bra today.
The three people standing in my front hall are laughing and once I stop jumping, one of them tells me that is not all that I’ve won. Danielle hands me a second check that says, $5000 a week for life on it. I hit myself in the chin with the cardboard because I am not very gracefully squealing and jumping once again. Then I bust out a few silly dance moves I’ve learned on the Kinect before she hands me $5000 in cash for my first payment.
Then she pulls out another $1500 and says they’ve also raised it to $1650 a week because I am a loyal PCH player. They ask me how I feel about PCH. I tell them I can’t wait to tell my guy since he is always chastising me for playing it. I think it is fun to play and obviously worth it.
They each shake my hand and congratulate me. The younger gentleman holds up a bottle of champagne and I run to grab some glasses. The camera crew starts packing up and the three familiar people stay to chat. There is the matter of setting up direct deposit and automatic tax deduction. Then I ask them what it is like to do their jobs.
We sip the champagne and they say that it all depends on the winners. Sometimes it requires a lot more energy on their parts to make the moment exciting. They say some people are just in shock. Some people cry or just don’t show very much emotion. They love when it happens like this one, when the winner is goofy and showing excitement, then they hardly have to work at all. The rest of their jobs is just promoting PCH. They put their names and faces on everything, so a lot of photo shoots and preparing for the winning moments.
The younger gentleman leans over close to me and starts licking my cheek.
I am lying with my face on the keyboard. Lilly is licking me. I sit up, wipe off the wet cheek but I cannot wipe off the smile. What a lovely dream.
Then the doorbell rings.