We get up early, brush our faces and wash our teeth. We persist in our wearing of pants in public. We cover our mouths when we yawn, we resist the urge to get involved in situations that do not require our input.
And now we’ve come to our reward. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the weekend, the dewy, precious days where the air is sweet and our time is our own.
What shall we do with this time? Will we sleep in? Will we in the northern climes bother to repaint our toenails? Will we ever make that eggplant rollatini we got all excited about a couple weeks ago?
The answer to these and other questions lie within the mysterious confines of my iPod; for as I continue to insist, my iPod, set on “shuffle” and played during my morning’s commute, foretells the future.
Shhh. Let’s listen.
Los Angeles by Frank Black
Barracuda by Heart
Howlin’ for You by The Black Keys
Lovesick by Lindstrom & Christabelle
Boots or Hearts by The Tragically Hip
Different When it Comes to You by Bruce Cockburn
Conventional Wisdom by Built to Spill
The weeken's prognosis? Frankly, I just don't know. At this point, I've got over 50 hours of work in this week. My imagination is shot, and I need a nap. If you'd fill in the blanks here, I'd appreciate it.
And to top it off, the escalators just inside The City Center weren’t running this morning.
I don’t need them, of course, having been walking on my own since the tender age of 11 months, but the sight of the non-escalating escalators gave me pause.
Since childhood, deserted streets have been my friends. Do I see zombies? I do not. I see freedom. This may shock you, but I’ve got a pretty sturdy little imagination on me and it absolutely loves scenarios like this…
I pause to survey the scene.
It is 6:45 a.m. and the end of the world that we've been hearing so much about has finally happened.
I am, of course, on time for work.
I move in my usual direction, like a cow leaving the milk barn and heading to pasture, in search of coffee. Eight years I’ve been doing this. Something’s not right, and it’s not just the non-escalating stairs.
It is then that I realize that there’s no line at the Starbucks.
Dizzy with pleasure, I walk in like I own the joint. “’Mornin’, Joe,” I say to the coffee dispenser. I help myself to a cup, jauntily throwing a quarter in the tip jar. “There ya go,” I mutter. “Although I’m still unclear as to why I tip you...”
Lawlessly, I cram my pockets full of Splenda packets.
I take a seat, prop my feet up on the table in front of me. I am making lazy plans to head out to a Winnebago dealership and drive one south when it occurs to me that the escalator has started up...
I shake my head, the daydream ruined, and my eyes focus on the moving stairs. In reality, I have not gotten my coffee yet. There is a man in a blue workman’s style uniform in front of me.
“Mornin’,” Pete says. You can tell it’s Pete because that’s what his shirt says.
“Got the steps moving again, I see,” I say.
He nods, almost bashfully. I smile at him to show him I mean no harm and proceed toward the Starbucks.
And I feel cheated when I see that there’s a line.