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Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Can’t Come In To Work Today – I’ve Already Done Too Much

I’d had a full day before I even got out of bed.

“… and as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our souls, there walks a lady we all…”

I take a hearty slap at the alarm clock.

Normally, when the alarm goes off, I, like so many others, bound out of bed, refreshed and optimistic, ready for the coffee buzz that surely awaits me; and so, of course, Wednesday started out in just this way. I lie in bed, admiring myself, a paragon of efficiency and practicality that –

“… won’t you fly-yyyyy free bird, yeah…”

What? What the -- OK. Again with the slapping of the alarm clock. So maybe I haven’t really gotten out of bed yet. Maybe if I just lay here for a second and gather my –

“… she taught me to WALK THIS WAY! Talk this way…”

I have now slapped myself 30 minutes further into the day than I am prepared for.

Hurling myself from the bed, I run in increasingly wider circles in an attempt to put a muzzle on my rising panic. Undies, shirt, hair – hey, haven’t worn these pants in a while. I pull my boots on, wind various bits of clothing about my neck and head and am out the door, yoga bag on my back, cleverly pre-packed lunch bag hanging from a shoulder. A quick two-block hustle, and there it is: the bus stop. I just need to cross. I just need to cross the road. If only the cars would let up…

Here it comes! Here comes the bus and I can’t cross! He’s a block away when I start waving my arms. “I’m here! I’m here!” my arms say. “I just have to cross the street!”

WHOOSH. This is the sound the bus makes as it goes by. The faces of a half-dozen fellow commuters stare sympathetically at me. “Awww,” their faces say.

I take a deep breath, a deep exhale, and take off running. I’m in great shape! I can catch the –

The bus reaches the red light two blocks away, pauses dramatically – the tease – and takes a right on red.

I am doomed.

I hike the six-seven blocks up the hill to catch the 10, a sweaty and ham-string pulling affair that has me making up stories about my dramatic rescue from some sort of tundra setting in no time. I am two blocks from the top of the hill when another bus shoots by.

I take a deep breath, followed by a deep exhale.

I reach the bus stop, a lonely little place on a bridge, where I stop sweating and begin to chill in a winter-appropriate manner. I am well into my imaginary interview with Good Morning, America regarding how I survived my experience in the tundra using only my iPod and my wits when the bus pulls up.

Heat. Blessed heat.

Making my way to the back, a process involving stepping around people who spill into the aisles, several live chickens and a group of men rolling dice, I sit down to discover why I hadn’t worn these pants in a while.

The zipper won't stay up.

I take a deep breath - and hold it.

37 comments:

Symdaddy said...

There is nothing like a brisk run in the morning ... with the cat, as it were, showing it's whiskers.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

So you're that chick I see on the bus every morning with her fly hanging open and smelling of early morning exertion. Word of advice honey....toss those pants out before you grab them by mistake again. lol Hope the rest of your day goes better.

Pearl said...

Very funny, Sym!

Delores, you'd think I'd know better by now. :-) You're absolutely right on the pants!

R. Jacob said...

A whole day of holding your breath and discretely sitting with something on your lap! the smiles keep on coming!

Pearl said...

R. Jacob, there is nothing so ridiculous that it won't eventually happen to me...

Ach du lieber said...

I have those SAME pants!!

Leenie said...

(hands pearl a hankie for her brow and a couple of large safety pins)

vanilla said...

What an awful start to a day. Right. Don't go in to work. There is no sympathy to be had there.

vanilla said...

What an awful start to a day. Right. Don't go in to work. There is no sympathy to be had there.

Argent said...

Those buses are such a tease! I'm sure the drivers get a buzz out of seeing the expression on our faces as they zoom by, leaving us to wave our tiny impotent fists of rage at them.

Silliyak said...

Would have been a better last work day of the year, but it'll do

jenny_o said...

Those ever widening circles that you found yourself running in? - very familiar with those ... and I don't take a bus so I can't miss it, but I'm thinking I get a similar rush of doom when I'm late getting up only to find out that it snowed a foot and a half and I need to clear the car off and plow-skid my way to the road ...

In other words, I feel your pain and hope your day got better after that :)

Lisa Golden said...

I worked up a sweat just reading this.

Bouncin' Barb said...

Good lord Pearl...I'm exhausted and sweating just reading it. I remember days like this. Wish you could go back to bed and start the day all over again. Still a fun read! Hugs.

Simply Suthern said...

That'll teach you to go to a early morning concert in your head.

Jhon Baker said...

My alarm is so annoying I can't help but to snooze it until it tires of me and stops going off. Reading this and other posts like it - I am glad I don't take a bus, on the other hand - all the humanity I miss!

Vicus Scurra said...

You could, of course, dispense with pants altogether. There are a number of bus drivers in Minneapolis who would pick you up at your door if you did this.
I hope that this helps.

terlee said...

Too funny...still laughing at the live chickens and men rolling dice when you finally got on the bus.

Douglas said...

You know, if you were retired this wouldn't be a problem. But then how would Acme Grommets and Napkins get by?

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

It seems to be true: "The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men" can always go awry. Sounds like you are a very organized lady, with everything laid out in prep for the next day. Too bad that alarm clock didn't slap you back after the second go. (Maybe we could get a patent for one that would.)
Rosemary

Belle said...

Oh, the memories of chasing buses in Vancouver. The traffic was so horrendous I could usually catch up. What a day, Pearl. Hope tomorrow's better.

SherilinR said...

easy, albeit temporary, solution for a slippy zipper is to spray hairspray right into it. at least it should get you through the day.
and after that run, you might not have needed so much of a workout, so that's one good point.

Sarah said...

Ah, ick. One of THOSE days.

It's almost here, the new friday and the new year around the corner.

And it still hasn't dropped below 0 yet!

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

Glad you finally found heat!! Just think you got your exercise outta the way!

I have a pair of those pants too and took them to a convention in Kentucky in October. They are now NOT hanging in my closet!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Chasing after buses like that? It builds stamina AND character. You are one strong woman, Pearl. And a funny one, too.

Linda O'Connell said...

Didn't need yoga after that workout, did you? My face hurts from laughing at your posts.

Bodacious Boomer said...

Seriously...live chickens on a city bus? I heard of a chicken that was on a Greyhound once. They told the driver it was their "service chicken".

SOL's view said...

Hey Pearl. Thanks for the comment. Wicked funny blog you run here. :)

Have a great day.

Craver Vii said...

Bwaaa-haha... Been there, Pearl. Of course, if I tried to run after a bus today, I would end up in an ambulance. :(

Eva Gallant said...

You remind me of how glad I am to be retired; I don't even set my alarm!

The Elephant's Child said...

No running for this black duck. I do sympathise so much over those rotten pants though. I have a pair myself. I keep thinking I can fix them, and then forget and wear them again. And again. A slow learner.

ThreeOldKeys said...

hey i've BEEN on that bus ... it has crated critters tied to the roof and it's mostly painted blue. right?

oh, i know it well ... the way it hurtles along the rutted roads ... those meandering pathways of mountainous minneapolis ... sometimes we see a bundled-up character bouncing on the other side of the ravine ... waving like crazy ... everybody smiles.

hey maybe we can sit together sometime. bring your dice. and wear some old pants ... most of the chickens have no manners.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

I am upset with that driver. If you don't show up he should be calling your work to see what happened to you. Him driving away is just cold, baby.

River said...

Several live chickens and a group of men rolling dice??
Where are you?
In the middle of Mexico on one of those rickety old buses that everybody gets out of to push start it?
(I saw it in a movie once...)

Move the alarm clock to the other side of the room so you have to get up to turn it off.

Gigi said...

You know, the one thing I hate more than a pair of pants with a wonky zipper is the alarm clock! I have to hit the snooze button many times before I actually get out of bed. In fact, I now set the alarm ridiculously early so that by the time I actually quit hitting the snooze, I'm actually semi on time.

bill lisleman said...

You must not be "that lady we all know" in the first song. I'm impressed that you got the words right because most of us think it is "a wino down the road". Of course you probably looked like a wino by the time you got on the bus.

Hey this comment is getting long but I was listening to some Led Zepplin and since you live in the land of ice and snow and probably know a Viking or two, tell me do they have any place around you called Valhalla?

Susan in the Boonies said...

With only the entire day yawning before you to HOLD that breath...