Something was wrong. I’m not sure when I became aware of it, but yesterday, I felt out of sorts.
On my way to work, I drove right past the dealership and didn’t realize until I was all the way into downtown Portsmouth that I should have been at work. Quickly turning around, I accidentally ran a red light (no, I wasn’t distracted by a red head, that’s another blog) and narrowly avoided running into a UPS truck, parked out in the middle of the road instead of off to the side as they should be.
I had decided to wear my trenchcoat to work since it was light and the weather was absolutely beautiful outside. At almost 70 degrees, this was a gift of early spring weather. The windows were open and White Zombie’s “More Human Than Human” was thumping on the stereo. I felt good about myself, relaxed, almost optimistic. Several people I passed by honked their horns and waved. I didn’t recognize these people, but I smiled and waved anyway. So rare that someone is just waving to say hi or honking hello, usually the waving is of a middle finger and the honking means “FUCK OFF!”
I got to work and sat for a minute, letting the final beats of White Zombie finish up. I opened the door and saw what all the waving was about: the bottom half of my coat had been shut in the door. My nice black trenchcoat was caked with mud and soaking wet. Frustrated, I hung the coat up in my office and called the drycleaner to get a price on a cleaning.
The next few hours, nothing went right. From printing the wrong forms to being tossed 15 projects all at once and being told they all needed to be done “Now-ish”, nothing seemed to be going right. I take all the pictures of out inventory for the various websites we report to and yesterday, it was truck photo day. I lined up a bunch of trucks and managed to get through 5 of them before disaster struck.
As I attempted to leap into the last truck, my right foot slipped on the running board sending me careening backwards into the door which, like a springloaded trap, swung out and rebounded , smacking me in the back of the head. Falling to the ground in defeat, I just sat there laughing as a concerned coworker came running up to see if I was alright. That’s when it started to rain.
Back safely in my office, more minor mishaps were plaguing me. On several occasions, I forgot how to spell my own name and twice I assigned a title to the wrong person. Frustration doesn’t even begin to describe my mood. I walked across the street to get a salad from McDonalds. After waiting in line behind the one person who was apparently unaware of what was on the menu at any McDonalds (I can only assume that she had crawled out of a bunker somewhere where her only contact with the outside world was a ham radio with no access to news or any entertainment of any kind for the past 60 years) I got up and ordered my Santa Fe salad thingy and made it back to my office. I ate a few bites from the top before digging deeper into the salad and discovering wilted, rotting lettuce at the bottom.
I ran back and got a new salad and even got a promise from the manager that the next one was free. As I walked out the front door of the McDonalds, I found the one, solitary piece of unmelted snow on the sidewalk. I felt my feet go out from under me. As I sprawled across the parking lot, I watched my salad, now free of its bag, launch into the air like some bizarre UFO and hit a parked car, spilling it’s contents all over the back window. The manager came running out to help me up. My clothes were now slightly soaked from the steady rain that had been falling. After retrieving my third salad, I went back to my office and prayed for 8pm to roll around. I just wanted to go home, nothing else, nothing fancy, no more surprises, just please, let me go home.
Eight o’clock came around and I darted to my car. Finally, I could end this day. But first, I had to stop off at Wal-Mart to get some necessities. Kitty litter was needed as well as bottled water and air freshener. As I walked up and down the long aisles, aimlessly searching for air freshener, the unthinkable happened: I got lost. No, seriously…I was lost. I had no idea which way was the exit and actually stood confused for about 20 minutes, trying to find my way out. It all went wrong when I wandered into the sporting good section looking for some new hiking gear. No sooner than I had spied the multi-tool that I wanted to buy than I made a wrong turn and found myself staring at the gun section. I didn’t think this was legal anymore, but there they were: bebe guns and various other rifles all on display in a glass case with nobody around to keep an eye on the potentially lethal merchandise. Boxes of ammo of all kinds from bebes to buck shot sat in small boxes behind the glass counter top. Next to the display were bows of all sizes and arrows of varying degrees of lethality.
In my mind, I pictured some deranged idiot wandering into the store unarmed and finding this little cubby hole of weaponry in the back corner of the store, arming themselves and proceeding to wreck lethal havoc on the other shoppers going about their normal shopping. Slightly unnerved by this lack of security, I turned around and….where the hell was I? Why can’t I see the exit?
I turned up one aisle thinking it was the right way. It looked promising, there were the dvds and there were the toys….then, I was stuck in the car department…what the hell? I backtracked again and found myself at that same counter. Had I wandered into a time warp? Determined to get out, I decided to cut diagonally across the store and despite some minor diversions (Hanes plain t shirts on sale!) I made it out.
Getting home was rather easy. No almost missed traffic accidents, no deer wandering into the road, no hailstorms. Collapsing into bed when I finally got home, one thought came across my mind: how in the hell did this day become so fucked up and confusing? A conflagration of factors had come together to just completely mess with me but what had started it all? What event had set in motion this perfect storm of oddities and accidents?
I kicked off my sneakers, stretching out my toes and feet, feeling the coolness of the air for the first time all day. I stood up and unbuckled my belt while I looked for my ‘house pants’ and I de-trousered myself, I looked down and there was the reason. There was the explanation. I knew something had to start the day off wrong and there was the proof. The one thing had set in motion the minor tragedies of my day:
I had put my underwear on backwards.