Thursday, October 20, 2011
Every Day is Wednesday
dé·jà vu: Noun. 1.A feeling of having already experienced the present situation. 2.Tedious familiarity.
Straighten your hair (what little you have). My hair has since grown longer and lovelier. Someone on the TV says “It’s 14 past the hour.” I no longer need the distraction of TV as I ready myself for the day. You only have a few minutes. Finish your hair, apply your make-up. Spray your hair. You're set to go. Run to the kitchen, grab the fixings for your lunch: veggies, hummus, pita, apple, banana, granola bar, protein drink. Stuff it all into your pink lunchbag. Glance at your other lunch bag, the comical black one with a graphic of a smiling sandwich that says “om nom nom.” No, you don't feel like using that one. Not anymore. Not at this job. Not where you eat in the park everyday surrounded by homeless people sleeping on the ground. I don't eat in the park anymore. I find better ways to occupy myself on my lunch break. Unplug your phone from its charger, grab your purse, slip your shoes on. Grab your keys from the table by the door. Unlock the door. Turn around, head to the bathroom, unplug your hair straightener. Run back to the door. Hit the light switch, exit the apartment. Fumble for your keys, run back inside, hit the lightswitch, grab your awful pink lunchbag. Hit the lightswitch again, exit the apartment again. Door 1, door 2, door 3. Only one door these days...
The woman from the next building over is leaving for work too. Just like yesterday, just like the day before. It’s gray and cloudy. Darker every morning. It's bright and sunny, and brighter every morning! Head out to your car, turn the key. Back out and drive slowly past the Indian family climbing into the van parked in front of the next building over. Nope, no Indian family next door anymore. Not even a hallway that smells like curry. Drive past Mr. Speedwalker – the man who looks to weigh 100 lbs and still goes for AT LEAST 2 BRISK WALKS PER DAY (from what you've seen, anyway). Drive past a bus that’s stopped at the tracks. Right lane. Left lane. Avoid the pothole - switch lanes. Totally different route now - no pothole to avoid.
Turn. Continue. Switch lanes. Stop. Look at the planes. Go. Remember the name Duncan. Baby is born, and Baby is not named Duncan. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Continue. Listen to the man coming through the speakers of the Starship. Totally different vehicle, too. He says something about the uselessness of the Num Lock key on the keyboard. Shake your head. Continue driving.
Heading downtown - you can see the lights. The man with the white cane and backpack is outside the Family Dollar, talking to himself again. Just like yesterday, just like the day before. Will he still be there in a month? That man is no longer there. I don't know what happened to him, but he's gone. Keep driving. Stop. Smell the bread. Go. Smell the bread. Smile to yourself. Remember Tijuana. Go. Go. Stop. Right lane. Left lane. Right lane. Maneuver through the city's latest practical joke - the obstacle course that has taken over the final stretch of your commute. Stop. Go. Right lane. Left lane. Stop. Turn. Stop. Wait. Look at the mural on the building ahead of you - " 'To be simple is to be great.' -- Ralph Waldo Emerson." Your daily mantra. It's good to keep things simple. Remember the name Emerson. Baby is born, and Baby is not named Emerson.
Turn. Feel your heart sink just a little, as always, as you near your final destination. My heart sinks just a little less lately. Stop, go. Rumble strip. Rumble strip. Rumble strip. Turn, search for the spot closest to the door. Park, shut the lights off. Ignition off. Grab your purse, look at the building. Sigh. Think about whether you really want to do this. Sigh. D-r-a-g yourself out of the vehicle. Shut the door. Check once more to make sure the lights are off. Look at the building and hesitate. Sigh. Walk. Open the door, punch in your six digits. Scan your hand. Wait for the buzz. Open this door. Turn and open the next door.
You can actually FEEL the temperature drop as you walk in. Hang up your coat. The weather is warm - no need for a coat. Shiver. Walk through the silent room - say "Good morning," like a good girl. You might as well be talking to an empty room, since no one turns around. Sit down at what looks like a vacant desk and hide your purse in the overhead cabinet. Move your mouse, pull your stapler out of hibernation, pull a pen out of the sterile desk drawer. Type in your password, look around. Open the drawer to look at the calendar. The calendar has been replaced by a picture of my daughter. She smiles at me every time I open my desk. It's Wednesday. Yesterday was Tuesday and tomorrow will be Thursday. And yet, every day is Wednesday. And before I know it, Wednesday is over. The day is done and a brighter, happier tomorrow is on the horizon.