I’m gonna let you in on a little secret….
and this is super privileged information, y’all…
I’m a little high-strung.
I’m a smart person… book smart that is. That being said, I can become so single-mindedly obsessed and tightly wound about something that I become phenomenally stupid.
Tonight, I left work at 9:00. There’s a strict rule about walking out together as employees, not just because the handbook says so, but because I work in the ghetto. Within the last few months, there have been multiple shootings around my workplace. Jay once texted me to ask what the zip code was for this location. I told him and he confirmed that I was in prime rapin’ real estate for the city, in a much more serious tone than that. It is bomb.
So, I drove home, chatting on my phone to my dear paranoid Gramma, who has taken up calling me every night to make sure I got home safe since I work “in a bad part of town” about 20 minutes down the highway from my wealthy horse-themed suburb.
I told her I was safe and she went to bed. I went upstairs, got undressed, microwaved some vegetables and got out some lunch meat for dinner (thank goodness for that bachelor’s in home-ec) and grabbed my Kindle to sit down and read while I ate.
What!?!? Where is my Kindle?!?!?! It’s in my bag, right? It has to be in my purse. Maybe I left it in the car. Maybe I should put on pants before I check. It’s not here! I must’ve left it at work. I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m also in the middle of two other paperbacks, that I totally could’ve read. I’m really not sure what possessed me to do this, but I threw on my dress pants, the heels I’d worn to work (sans hose), a hoodie over my nightshirt, and my ID badge, tossed my food in the fridge and bolted out the door like my life depended on it. Telling no one where I was going, I spent the last two dollars in my checking account (until I get paid tomorrow) on gasoline and started the twenty-minute, all darkened highway drive to work… in dense fog… going ten to fifteen over. I was convinced that the key fob that allows me in the door couldn’t be set to no longer allow access at immediately 9:00, since we sometimes have to stay later. There was a slight possibility that it was set for 10:00. I was absolutely sure that I had to get there by 10:00… to enter the building without permission and get my Kindle. (In hindsight, I’m lucky I have a laidback manager.) I sped the whole way, looking for lights in my rearview mirror, not even considering what I’d say were I pulled over. I turned into the parking lot, actually seeing a speeding cruiser behind me, and not even acknowledging the confirmation that this was a terrible damned idea when he sped right past me, because this is the fucking ghetto. I parked right next to the back door and bolted out to try my key fob. Red lights informed me that access had been denied. I was crushed. I’d have to make this drive again tomorrow, even though I don’t work, because there was no way in hell I’d leave my Kindle for two days. I planned to get up early and hope to get there at 7:50, bolt in with the first arrivals, and somehow teleport to my local high school to substitute. It was a brilliant plan. As I passed the front door, I started to realize how insane this had been… but was immediately interrupted by the sight of the cleaning man washing the windows, on the other side of the shady guy camped out beside the door.
Yup. I did. I parked the car again, ran across the parking lot, flashed my badge and entered the deserted building alone with the cleaning man to grab my Kindle.
OH! I left my Diet Coke, too!
On the way home, I realized I was out of gas again, but thought it would be unwise to stop at the 7 Eleven next door so late. Yes. That would be unwise. I tried to calm myself on the way home, adrenaline still pumping from The Great Kindle Emergency of 2013.
Slow down. Breathe. You have your Kindle now.
I drove at a far more reasonable speed through the pitch black and fog.
I got closer to home and pulled into Wal-Mart to get gas. That’s when I realized…
I didn’t have my wallet. No money. No ID. No gasoline.
Luckily, I did make it home and the wallet was on my couch, though it had managed to give me almost as bad of a shock as realizing I didn’t have my Kindle. On my way to get gas, so I wouldn’t run out in the morning, I began to think of what I’d have told an officer had I been pulled over for speeding… and not had my wallet.
“Well, I’m trying to get to work. I left something and I’m not sure when the doors will automatically lock me out. It’s important…”
“Well… um… my Kindle…”
“Were I lying, don’t you think I’d come up with something better than that? Kindles are expensive and you see, I substitute teach in the morning and that’s a whole day of doing absolutely nothing and I was right in the middle of this new book and I didn’t even finish the last chapter and it stopped in a… this is only sounding lamer and lamer as far as excuses go, isn’t it?”
The fog began to lift… figuratively, it’s like a fucking B movie out there…. I started to see the light…
That’s the new photo on my ID badge.
Note: Photos used were exaggerative.