I’m not talking about when your S.O. keeps talk-talk-talking when he knows that you are watching Intervention and simply must know how this stranger’s life has turned out, or when you’re stuck in a four-hour meeting not because you’re a part of what’s going on but simply because your boss thinks that there should be minutes taken.
Take last February, for example. I woke up with a cold sore. Nice, because if there’s anything a woman likes it’s a swelling – followed by a crusty scab – on her upper lip.
But I ran through my morning routine: teeth, face, mouthwash, moisturizer, tin hat, rubber undergarments. You know. The usual. My walk down the hall, between the bathroom and the bedroom, however, resulted in my stepping, quite squarely, in a yakked-up hairball the size of smallish hot dog.
Yikes. Not cool, but not terrible, right?
Cleaned it up, but now I was running late. The bus was coming.
I pulled on my last pair of nylons, got dressed, then proceeded with the real dressing: wool leggings, boots, scarf, hat, down coat, gloves. It’s cold in Minnesota in February, dagnab it. February is the month where you've just about had enough. The sky’s been gray for weeks, you haven’t had more than fleeting physical experiences with “warm” since October; and anyone with the ways and means has fled for warmer climes, if only for as long as they can afford it.
Bundled up and ready for the elements, yoga bag and purse affixed to a shoulder, iPod on, I stepped outside, locked the front door – and fell down the front steps. Ice! Boom! Boom! Boom! Yoga bag over there, purse over there… My knee! My knee! I pushed aside my coat, pulled down my leggings for a glimpse of my torn nylons and the lovely lump rising from my knee.
And the bus is due.
Pulling myself together, I gingerly hobbled/ran, somewhat gnome-like, the three blocks to the bus stop closest to the house, the one on Broadway Avenue, two lanes of residential angst in each direction. The February snow, a grayish, salted sludge, of a consistency somewhere between pudding and mashed potatoes , lined the streets; and as I reached the bus stop, as I can see the bus, mere car lengths away, as I prepare to inhale the sweet oxygen of a journey completed, of the assured dry warmth of the bus – a car shoots by, changing lanes and covering me – SPLAT – in the aforesaid sludge. The bus pulls up, the door opens – and I smile at the driver through the dripping, sandy remnants of my make-up, the exposed ends of my hair soaked with semi-viscous ice, my coat covered with polluted snow and road salt.
“Never mind,” I said.
I went home. I could see clearly that, although it was not yet 7:15 in the morning, it was not my day. I called in to work “unfortunate”, as in “I’m not sick, I’m unfortunate.” Clearly, someone or something was trying to communicate with me, that it was not my day, and that I should go home and lay down before somebody, somewhere, gets hurt.
So I told you all that to tell you this: it's happened again.
My friend Erin and I were to go visit our friend Kurt last Saturday, a man who dumped his motorcycle on the road about a week ago. He had broken his leg just above the ankle, had a fair amount of gravel embed itself in the bone, (which required a good deal of attention and cleaning), and had been moved to his mother’s place for a number of weeks, where he’ll be confined to a couch and requiring assistance to hobble to the bathroom to bathe and relieve himself.
Other than that, he’s doing well.
The morning of the visit started like any other weekend: kitties in my face, wondering why we weren’t outside yet; the conflicting desire to go back to sleep or get up and make coffee; the realization that it’s a Saturday and that I can do anything I like.
I decided to make coffee.
In no time, however, I discovered that I should’ve stayed in bed.
I had mysteriously run out of toothpaste during the middle of the night – something that still confuses me. While dressing myself, I fell over pulling on a pair of shorts, then got my head stuck in the arm hole of my shirt. I dropped and then re-dropped my coffee cup on two separate occasions (once with coffee in it). The last straw was dropping a full slice of onion in my newly re-poured coffee. Don’t ask.
I had to call Erin. “Something – or someone,” I said, ominously, “Doesn’t want me to leave the house today.” I explained how the first two hours of my day had gone. She agreed that I should probably not leave the house, that I should plant myself on the couch with a good book and apply beer internally as needed.
Me, I’m a believer in the power of gut instinct and the value of the Trusted Advisor; and in this case, Erin was right. Whether I’m just too preoccupied/clumsy to leave the house or whether outside forces are actually conspiring to keep me from making public appearances or operating heavy machinery, who am I to argue with these mysteries?
Sometimes ya just gotta accept that today is not your day.
Winter mornings and pottery
3 hours ago