Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Classical Pianist Electrician

I needed some electrical work done so I looked in the local yellow pages.  I came across a listing for Mike McDonnell.  We spoke on the phone and he told me he would be at my house after work to get an idea of the job and then we could set up a time for him to come to do the work.

We had a chandelier in the dining room of the house that had been a gift from our realtor when we moved in.  It was beautiful and she had her husband who was a fix-it guy do the installation.  It never really worked right.  All thought it was on a dimmer switch, I wouldn’t turn off.  We had to unscrew the bulbs to turn it off.

You might be thinking why would anyone do that?  When we moved in, we made it by the skin of our teeth financially.  We didn’t have the luxury in our minds of spending $300 on a light repair so we didn’t.  It seems silly now but it was a reality at the time.

Mike came over the following day and took a look at the things I needed for him to do.  I needed him to fix the exhaust fan in the bathroom and check the electrical outlets, in addition to the dining room light.  I bought a new light for the lamp pole out front and had him change out the light fixtures outside near the front and back doors.

He arrived on a Saturday morning to work on the list I had given him.  He was a local guy in his forties who lived in Leesburg and had grown up on a mountain south of there.  He had quite a southern accent; he worked for Loudoun County as an electrical inspector.  Mike was a talker.  I followed him around because I wanted to ask him questions about the house and see if he had any suggestions about the house.

We discovered that we had read some of the same books; he was an avid reader too.  He played classical piano and had a baby grand in his living room at home.  Mark was very interesting and had a terrific sense of humor.  I liked him right away.  He was there several hours and we talked quite a bit.  He made me laugh and I hadn’t done that in a long time.

When he had finished, I hardly charged me for anything.  I think it was since I was widowed and had just gone through a tough time with the Red-Headed Roofer.   I told him that I couldn’t let him do that so I offered to buy him dinner and told him if he played piano for me, I would sing and play guitar for him.  We made a date for the following weekend.
I was astounded at what a bold article I was asking him out to dinner.  It was simply to return a favor but I was interested in him.  We talked several times on the phone.  I can’t remember why but his parrot would talk to him.  He told me he thought that she should be on Prozac and had to wear a cone because she kept preening her feathers so much that she was tearing off all her feathers.

Mike had a son but hadn’t been married.  He had lived with his son’s mom but it didn’t work out. The baby was the result of a one night stand, not much to build a relationship on.   I could tell it was a source of great pain for him.  Mike later told me that the woman had been raped at one point in her life and had a lot of issues that she couldn’t overcome.  His son lived with his mom but Mark saw him often.

I have rarely met someone whom I felt that I knew immediately; this is how Mike was.  I think that we both were attracted to each other and loved talking and sharing each other’s company.  Perhaps it was that we were both lonely.  I felt uneasy about the “date” which was more like a payback of a favor.  It was the first time I considered going out with anyone after Rick so it was significant.  I was excited.

1 comment:

  1. Oh goody gumdrops! The electrician! I wonder if he's still available?