A week ago last Thursday, Marta broke her foot.
Most people who know me nod sagely when I tell them this.
“You had a hammer in your hip pocket,” they say. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m getting tired of hearing it.
No, she was painting the stairwell and took one step down onto the landing. Just a plain, ordinary step down. Something went wrong, and her fifth metatarsus snapped in two places, and her fourth metatarsus cracked. The X-Ray was not pretty.
“No weight on that foot for two weeks,” the osteo-whatever — the bone doctor said. “None whatsoever. It looks like it will heal straight without pins, and we’ll take another look in two weeks. But you can’t put any weight on it. Or any other kind of stress,” he added, with a sharp look at me.
So we got Marta a wheelchair, and a little scooter you ride on one knee, and a boot, and a bottle of painkillers. And I’ve been running errands. Water. More water. A toothbrush. The special toothpaste. Oh, and some floss. And the water pick. No, not that water pick, the other one. And a nail file.
It’s been a long week.
Today, we decided we really needed to get our tax information together. I mean, we have two weeks, but our accountant gets a little testy when I bring in stuff on April 14 and say, “But you have a WHOLE DAY LEFT!”
So Marta wanted the Tax File.
“It’s downstairs in my office,” she said, and I started down the stairs. “Now hold on a second. It’s in the bottom desk drawer to the right of my chair. Pull it out, and all the folders are sideways. There’s a manilla folder in there marked ‘Taxes 2011’ — it’s probably not in alphabetical order, so you may have to search, but it’s the second or third folder back.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I muttered. I pulled out the drawer, and went through the whole thing — no folder marked ‘Taxes 2011’. I went through the three folders on her desk, and then hit the big filing system to the left of her chair. No success.
“Honey, I can’t find it!” I complained. “Say, didn’t I ask you for that file a week ago? I think it’s up in my office.”
I went upstairs and searched my office but it wasn’t there either.
“This is too stressful,” I said. “I’m gonna go blog.”
“Wait a minute,” Marta said. “You’re right. You did ask for it, and the file is on the corner of your desk closest to the window, under a plastic box full of wires and cables. It has a white Tyvek envelope in it with green triangles around the edges.”
“I thought you said it was a manilla folder,” I said.
“Yes, it’s a manilla folder with an envelope inside it with green triangles around the edge. The envelope sticks out.”
I trudged back upstairs and moved the box of cables. Sure enough, there was the manilla folder labelled ‘Taxes 2011’ with a white Tyvek envelope in it. I took it back down to Marta.
“They’re blue,” I groused.
“What?” Marta said.
“The triangles are blue. Not green. No wonder I couldn’t find it.”
“What?!” Marta said.
“Look, maybe I can’t tell the difference between mauve and purple, but I do know blue from green. And these are definitely blue triangles. You can’t give me misleading directions like that. How do you expect me to find anything?”
Marta’s face was screwed up tight, and she was biting her lip pretty hard.
“Do you need another Tylenol?” I asked.
“Just give me the file,” she choked out.
I handed her the file and headed back to my office to blog. I don’t know what she found in the tax file that was so damn funny, but a few seconds after I left, she started laughing. More like whooping with laughter. Sounded like she was pounding on the arms of the chair, too.
They say laughter is the best medicine.