Thursday, June 2, 2011
A Three Story Life: The Mask
Dad has a mask to sleep with. It's supposed to help with sleep apnea. He snores through it. He fools with it. He gets up with stripes on his face from adjusting, noodling, messing with it during the night, maybe because there are other issues to sleeplessness. It's broken again. He had it on his lap for the day, turning it this way and that, displaying it in case I wondered what was going on and asked. (See: The Sideways Ask.) He finally mentioned that the plastic pins that hold the bottom straps in place were snapped off. All four of them. I got out my jewelry wire and toolbox, and rigged a clasp to keep it in place. It was an elegant fix - I thought he needed to flip the clasp, like an old door hook, to get the mask on and off, so that's how I designed it. He didn't use it. He pulled the whole thing off over his head in the morning, and then on again last night, breaking the fix. I was asleep. I didn't hear Dad calling, and he woke Scott to fetch me. Scott has no contact inhibitions, so he came into my room, leaned over my back, got right up on my ear, cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled "Are you asleep?" I hit the ceiling like a cartoon cat. Ran upstairs thinking Dad was having an episode. Nope. Sitting on the bed, he explained how he thought I could fix it. I said, I was asleep, and Scott scared the hell out of me. "What was I supposed to do?" I thought of The Haunting, and Julie Harris and duct tape. I got my tools shakily, fixed it clumsily, and while both of the guys were now resting comfortably, spent the next bundle of hours awake wondering what mask I might design for me. The serial yapper dog just signaled the UPS guy is here. He brought the new mask. Dad wondered if I was having a bad day. I told him I underslept a little.