I had a pretty good day Wednesday—arguably it was spectacular. Definitely in my top five of satisfying days. My commute was lovely, work was fantastic, and that evening, I had an opportunity to watch Survivor in the presence of Joe Mena, one of the players currently on the show, which as you might imagine was freaking awesome. See? Don’t I look happy in this picture? Also, my apologies to Richard Hatch, but Joe is now my new favorite Survivor player ever. (Maybe if you'd invited me to a viewing party, Rich. Just sayin'.)
As Jason and I drove home that night, still gibbering about how totally cool our evening had been, and me suspecting I’d sounded like a big dork at the event but for once, not caring about my geekiness, I had the loveliest thought: Today was a good day. I haven’t had one of these in a while. Thank you, universe.
And the universe responded in a quiet, reptilian voice: Oh, don’t worry. You’ll pay. But I was laughing in delight over my perfect day when the universe said this, so I didn’t quite catch that last part.
Thursday was a little different.
The morning commute was riddled with school buses. When I finally made it in, my mug shattered when I went to get coffee, slicing my palm. I had three meetings in a row, and nobody bothered to tell me until lunchtime that my fly was down—and undoubtedly had been during my presentation during meeting #2. I also ran over my own big toe with my office chair.
When I left work, I spotted an accident to my left, and did what I thought any sensible person would do: turned right. After all, either way led home, and it looked like I’d be taking the highway.
I pulled onto the entrance ramp, merged over a lane, and wondered for a brief moment if I should be worried about the flames I saw up ahead.
“There is a traffic delay in 200 feet,” Google Maps announced. “You are on the fastest route. You will arrive at your destination at 8:12 P.M.”
It was 4:30.
There was indeed a delay: a flatbed had merged into a van, and the resulting crash set the vehicle on fire. I put my car in park, waiting for the emergency crews to arrive. Listened to a Hit Parade podcast about Elton John. Listened to a Survivor podcast, a true crime podcast, and the complete A side of James Taylor’s Greatest Hits. Balanced my checkbook, called a friend to catch up, and wiped down the interior of my car with a semi-damp Handi-Wipe I found in the glove compartment.
During this time, traffic moved forward exactly one eighth of an inch.
I tweeted about how if anyone said anything bad about Survivor Joe in my presence I’d junk-punch them. Posted a Facebook update reminding people I was still alive (though, sadly, even though I’d been parked on the highway for half a day at this point, nobody had contacted me to express concern). Started reading the urban dictionary online so I could learn all the words the young folks use these days.
Finally--finally—traffic started moving again. I puttered on down the road, calculating how much time I’d have to make dinner before it was bedtime (seventeen minutes, by my estimation) . . . and found another accident, half a mile before my exit.
When I did make it home (well after dark), I extricated myself from the car, and found I’d somehow twisted my knee during my commute, quite possibly during my Handi-Wipe cleaning frenzy. It’s pretty bad: I’m sitting at work today wearing a knee brace and using a cane. My breakfast consisted of 1600 mg of Tylenol, and something for my stomach, because Tylenol does not react well with my digestive tract. And of course, I’ll be at SuperMegafest this weekend, standing on hard concrete for two days. Because that’s how the universe rolls.
Hopefully I’ll see you there, if I can see through the pain-tears. You know, I'll bet if you ask me about meeting Joe, it might make me feel better . . .