Today my last client was a no-show. There are many blog posts and online discussions about what to do about the loathsome late-cancel: “Call them. Charge them. Yes, definitely charge them. Get their card on file for future offenses….well, unless it’s a really good client. If it’s a really good client you should…” And so on.
Today I didn’t follow that advice.
What I did was to close up shop. Then I walked through my neighborhood. I took 9 pictures.
- It was gray but not raining and I liked the way these roses popped. That’s why I took out my phone in the first place.
2. Horrid, savage little barks used to come from behind this shrub. That’s because a violent Chinese Crested Terrier used to live there. I have never told anyone this before, but one day I was late for work when I found myself walking behind the demon beast. He was scuttling along sideways kind of, alone and humbled, dodging recycling bins and school children.
I did think for one moment about trying to capture him. He was low on confidence without his shrub between him and the rest of Brighton. But I didn’t. I was late and I thought to mind my own business.
3. I don’t much care for mums. These look cheerful in the rain, but still I like the stone planter more. I look up to see if there might be gargoyles under the eaves of the church that the mums are supposed to be decorating.
4. This is the church. And here’s another thing, besides not rescuing the Chinese Crested, that I’ve not told anyone: several times when the night seemed too difficult, I have come to this Lady around 2am and stood before her crying.
5. I just liked the moss on this tree. My camera made it grey green but in real life the green is the color of one of those inch-worms you see in summer. Or you could imagine a lime popsicle if you don’t know about inch-worms.
6. While examining the above tree trunk, I noticed this house across the street. I thought how the people inside might say, “We’re all ready for fall” meaning they’d got mums at Mahoney’s and placed them on the porch. They are probably “all ready” for Halloween, too, having purchased bags of those little Snickers and Kit Kats from Stop and Shop, on the day after Labor Day when Stop and Shop moved them to the front of the store.
Since they were ready for things, I also thought how the people inside might be watching me photo their porch. So I cleverly changed position in order to confuse them, pretending to snap a few more shots, angling up to the sky, then far down the street.
7. These flowers are plastic. They are tied to this post at the far end of my street, memorializing, I assume, someone who died on this corner.
8. I think about all the consideration we give to the clients who don’t show up, and all the time we spend writing our online opinions about what should be their punishment. Then I think how grateful I am that I am not dying on this corner today. I think about writing in to the online group that when a client late-cancels we should go for walks in our neighborhoods enjoying cloudy afternoons.
9. Because if my client had shown up, I’d have another hundred and forty five dollars, but I would not have seen this spider web that was built on top of this shrub and then got covered with raindrops.