One of Those Days.....
You ever had one of those days where everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is thwarted in some strange way? And then, by the time you’re through the first half of the day, you think, okay, that was 6 things that went wrong. That must be it, right? But then 6 more things go wrong and you start to think, is it me? Am I inviting the wrongness to my sphere? Or is it the universe trying to tell me something?
Like go back to bed?
Well…yes, I’m sure you’ve all had such days, and while it’s happening, it’s surreal and upsetting. Yet……
It’s good to know there’s a reason for it, isn’t it?
“Hello, Carol,” Sandy’s getting ready to head to Utopia; I’ve only just arrived, an hour later than usual, slinging my too heavy gym bag on the bench and sighing too loudly.
“Hi, Sandy,” I manage. It’s hard to answer and pretend like everything is all right. So I don’t try.
“How you doing today?” Sandy asks.
“Don’t even ask,” I try for levity.
“One of those days?” she nods, sympathetic.
“Oh, yes! You know when everything goes wrong?”
“I do indeed,” she slams her locker shut, gathers up her towel.
And then in spite of my intention not to pour it all out at her, I start in with the most recent list of obstacles.
“The off-ramp to get here was closed for who knows what reason. I’ve been living here in Oakland for over 30 years and I’ve never seen that off-ramp closed! And then I got lost cuz there were no detour signs, and I got turned around on San Pablo and then I couldn’t find a parking place and then……”
I stop, catching my breath, fighting back the tears.
Sandy nods, then proclaims: “There’s the Perseid meteor shower happening right now. That’s what the problem is.”
“Well, let’s hope for a Miracle and you get a lane to yourself.”
This would be a miracle, especially considering the hellish circle swimming mayhem that has dominated the pool lately at the downtown Oakland YMCA.
“I won’t hold my breath,” I joke. “But I just want to get in the water at this point, you know? It’ll help.”
“Yes, it will,” she agrees as she heads off to Utopia.
Initially upon entering the pool arena, it was the usual mayhem. Kids screaming in the Family Lane. Three swimmers circle swimming in the remaining lanes. The side of the pool where the aqua folks had been was still open, but the Aquas had left except for the enormous computer programmer guy trying to pick up on Beauteous Bun Head woman.
And then there was frantic albino guy at the far end or the pool flailing his arms about strangely.
Okay, so, I just got in and swam anyway. After the day I’d had, this was nothing.
Yet….miracle of miracles, the kids and families got out. The lifeguards put in all the lanes. I shared a lane with serious sparkly earring woman swimmer. It was smooth and soothing and yes, the day’s hellishness began to melt away.
Later, as we’re getting dressed before the final last call of 10 pm, Sandy told us about the woman on the Bay Bridge who’d jumped over the side to escape arrest after crashing a stolen car from LA and this is why 80 was backed up on my way to work that morning.Evidently, she'd been picked up later, soaking wet in nothing but bare feet and a little black dress, by an unsuspecting truck driver.
“She was very well insulated, I’m sure…..and high as a kite,” Sandy explained.
DL’s eyes widened.
“Well,” I nodded, “at least I wasn’t her!”
Laughing, Sandy stuffed her stuff in her gym bag. DL stared into space for several seconds and then grinned, “I just got what you said….” she murmured. “It took a few moments to process.”
And it does take time to process. And I was right. At least I wasn’t this poor woman jumping over the Bay Bridge or the poor man who was shot by the Oakland police (this is probably why the 27th street off-ramp was closed) or the other myriad REALLY bad things that can happen in a day driving around the Bay Area or trying to work your work.
And when I think about it, everything that happened on this Wrongsday (DL’s name for this Wednesday) did turn out okay. I did get to work. I did finally help students with their writing. I did get my boss to fill out my time card. I did find a parking place. I did get to the YMCA. DL did get me to stop crying and start laughing: (“Sit down….sit down for a minute….let’s just watch this funny man here on the treadmill doing strange things with his head.”)
But those meteors! Damn! Good thing they only come around once a year. Cuz frankly, I couldn’t take another day like this for a long long time!