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Monday, May 12, 2014

We'll Move South, But Not Too Far South

The escalators just inside The City Center weren’t running Tuesday morning.

I didn’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.

stop.

Hammer time
.

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.  Because I can.

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.

20 comments:

Delores said...

So....no altered reality today?

Should Fish More said...

I've had that feeling....a couple of winters ago I drove up the freeway north towards the state capital in the morning. No cars, none in sight, either direction. 30 miles of this through the national forest. I imagined the empty city ahead, stopping off to get a new truck, going into the deserted sports store and a couple new flyrods...alas.

NotesFromAbroad said...

In my dream I get on a plane and go South .. way far South .. where it is Autumn soon to be Winter but I don't care ... cause I'm like that, you know.

Sioux said...

Pearl--It's a delightful, perfect world that exists inside our head, isn't it?

Shelly said...

In my head, there's always an apocalyptic scenario brewing. They're fun places to visit, except I always head north.

Steve said...

Am I the only person that'sw never been in a Starbucks?

Almost Precious said...

Hmm for a while there I thought I could hear the theme music to Twilight Zone. Oh shucks !

darsden said...

:-)

jenny_o said...

I would feel more cheated by realizing there was no Splenda in my pockets after all. I love that line, you lawless crammer, you :)

And I have to admit that I imagine these scenarios, too. It's eerie when things aren't "normal"!

Eva Gallant said...

I love the way you write...the pictures you create....It keeps me coming back.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Oh yeah, those static 'scalators; been there done that and discovered I had forgotten to let my clock fall back...5:30am in Hornsby Station is a whole different world.

Sturdy little imagination indeed...YAM xx

Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

I'm glad that someone else has the same fantasies as I do.

I once forgot to re-set my alarm clock and watch when it changed from Summer time to Daylight saving time in the UK.
I was in Cardiff before even the refuse blokes were up and about.
For a brief (but very pleasant) while I thought someone had dropped the BOMB and not told me.

Geo. said...

So after the apocalypse, the Chosen will gather at Starbucks?

Gigi said...

That sturdy imagination of yours is going amazing!


Linda O'Connell said...

Fantasy interrupted. Don't you hate when that happens?

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Wow. You are downtown at work by 6:45? A.M.? I am not even out of bed by then, and even in my dreams I would not be at work by then.

bill lisleman said...

Perhaps you briefly entered that alternate universe some scientist believe could exist. A twilight zone episode for sure.

DeniseinVA said...

That's a great story :)

Slamdunk said...

Fun read. If only Pete new what he was missing?

Daisy said...

I'm glad you have these flights of fantasy so that you can write about them here and share them with us. :)