Dogs 2014

GAS COMPANY
(11/1/14)


first freeze
of Fall
tonight

so right
before bed
I check the
heat

I had
checked it
three weeks
before

but I'm old
therefore
more cautious
these days

it takes
less
to kill me

thermostat
says 68

I set it
to 72

clicks
clacks
and motor noise

but no
heat

it's too
late
for this
shit

first
I check
the easiest
thing

the inside
thing

new batteries
for the thermostat

still
no heat

I turn
off
the thermostat

put on
a hoodie

go out back
and flip
the breaker

flip it back

come back
in

turn on
the thermostat

still
no heat

turn off
the thermostat

back outside
turn off
the breaker

go to the
garage
for some tools
and a flashlight

bring them
out
to the central
heat/air unit
and take off
the access
covers

at 10 pm

much dust
and cobwebs
which I remove
with a whisk
broom

it looks
better
but I know
that I haven't
fixed anything

back inside
I switch
the thermostat
to on

back outside
I switch
the breaker
to on

back
at the unit
I watch
the exhaust
fan
start exhausting

the igniter
sparking

stopping

sparking

stopping

sparking

stopping

faulting

the exhaust
fan
stops exhausting

hmmm

there seems
to be something
missing

oh yes

gas

I check
the internal
valve
but can't see
much

turn it
off
then back
on again

I check
the exterior
valve

off
then back
on

hoping
that something
has changed
I go through
the test routine
again

same result

damn
it all
to Hell

I still
haven't solved
anything

just resets
and wishful
thinking

finally
I walk around
to the gas meter
on the other
side
of the house

the shutoff
valve
is shut
off

what
the fuck?

I return
indoors

switch off
the thermostat

call Okie Gas

at 10:45 pm

why
is my gas
off
at the meter?

"well sir
I see
that someone
performed maintenance
two weeks
ago

did they
not
turn it back
on?"

I didn't even
know
they had been
here

obviously
they hadn't

"we'll send
someone
right out"

I sit

watch
the Lakers
and Clippers

thank God
for West Coast
games

11:45 pm

nobody

I call back
and tell them
that I have
a wrench
and can turn it
back on
myself

"oh no
sir

that would be
meter tampering

and a $100
fine"

fine
I say

where's
the service
person?

about
ten minutes
away
she thinks

he eventually
pulls up
at midnight

I tell
my story
again
as he grabs
his tools

his flashlight

we walk
around
to the meter

now
he has to perform
all the required tests
before he can
turn it
back on

I stand

he kneels

in the dark

in the cold

finally
he turns
the shutoff
back to
on

we hear
the gas flow

yay

now
he has to check
for leaks

another
five minutes

finally
he's finished
and I can test
the heater
again

back
in the house

thermostat
back on

clicks
clacks
and motor noise

then
the reassuring
whoosh
of ignited
gas

the blower
blows

heat
wonderful
heat
begins
to flow

we say
our goodbyes
as he packs up
his things
and leaves

I pick up
my tools

flashlight

put them
back
in the garage

turn off
the exterior
lights

go back
in the house

turn off
the interior
lights

crawl
into bed

12:45 pm

just another
wild
Halloween night

I smile
as I hear
the heater
kick in
for another
cycle

I sleep