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.