Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And I Didn't Even Pack a Lunch

I pushed the snooze button for almost an hour this morning.  I laid in bed for another 40 minutes after that.  I was tired, my lungs kinda burned, it was a chilly October morning and my sheets were snuggly and bodywarm, and I kept thinking about my inevitably long, lonely walks down the hallways at school today.  Eventually I decided enough was enough, and I scrambled out of bed and set it back up, tetrising the pillows into an acceptable pattern and instructing Madeline to stand guard.  Since I didn't have any oatmeal or pancake mix, I settled for Cocoa Puffs -- the ones I bought just for the Kung Fu Panda toy inside.  I read the first chapter of Daughters In My Kingdom, rinsed my breakfast bowl, rinsed my dinner bowl from last night, took a shower, packed my backpack, put on some eyemakeup, and was out the door by 9:50.

I missed the bus.

Actually, saw the bus.

I try not to look over my shoulder when I'm running late because doing so inevitably summons the demon while I'm still a mile off, but I did.  I looked over my shoulder, turned my head ever so slightly at the sound of a passing Fed Ex van, then followed through on the impulse to see if the bus was coming.  There, on the not so distant horizon was the strip of aged white forehead sign and bug eye glass windshield, the symbol of my impending doom.

I picked up the pace, walked a little bit harder, half hoping I could make it.  I almost convinced myself when it stopped by the dollar store, and again by Down East.  But the bus approached the library just as I did.  It sat at a red light while I fought the urge to dash across State Street between the cars, behind the crosswalk.  Then it pulled up to the stop, and I watched from the other side of the intersection as it loaded the passengers and drove away.

I barely missed it.  If I had arrived less than a minute earlier, I would have caught the bus.  If one thing in my morning routine had been different, say if I had left my bed unmade or let my tuna bowl sit in the sink; if I had left off the makeup or not washed my hair, I would have been at that bus stop with enough time to complain about how the stupid thing is always late.

Instead, I stood lamely on the corner of missed opportunity and chatted idly with a stranger about student insurance and dental work.


Recorded 10/14/11

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