remains of the day
remains of the day
The only word that can begin to describe this entire day is surreal. You already heard about the first two parts of the day; allow me to elaborate on the late afternoon/evening portion.
The rest of the morning and afternoon went pretty much the same as the day started. Everything had this weird feel to it, as if the world was suddenly off kilter by just a fraction of an inch. I think I walked around with my head tilted all day, as if I was listening for a sound no one could hear but me. The call of the aliens, perhaps.
I managed to keep my sanity during the afternoon, even though I had downed about 3 pots of coffee and I was being tested by the mail gods, who kept making our elderly, evil mail tag-team known as Ren and Stimpy come back to my office asking "anything going out?" six trillion times. I smiled politey each time and told them no, nothing ready to go out since the last time they asked me, oh....ABOUT 3 MINUTES AGO! I think my smile may have been too broad, my teeth a bit too clenched, because after their last quest for outgoing mail, when I was grinning and carving a pentagram into the desk with a letter opener, I never saw them again.
I finally, finally make it home. I pick up Natalie so we can go shopping for DJ's birthday present, and make a pit stop to drop my sister off at the gas station to pick up her car (with it's new radiator hose). We get around the block and meet head on with a horde of fire engines parked in front of a house. Ambulances, cops, nosy neighbors, everyone is there. And so are about 100 firemen, all milling around this person's lawn, non-chalantly drinking soda and talking. I got one of those looks from a fire police type guy, the stare that says "These are not the droids you are looking for. Move along." So we moved, figuring it was one of those false alarms, where the wife was cooking dinner and the smoke alarm went off and the kids called the fire department. What? That doesn't happen to everyone?
So anyhow, we get to the gas station, my sister picks up her car, and the mechanic is looking at my car now, looking at it quizzicaly and sniffing the exhaust and he says it smells funny. No, no that's not what smells funny. It smells like..like..a house fire! And sure enough, rising from the sky down the block from my house is a small, but stinky plume of smoke. Guess someone really did burn dinner!
And then....Natalie got lost in the bathroom at Target, like she had been vacuumed up into a time warp and then dropped back down again, right in front of the soap dispenser.
And then....it was 70 plus degrees outside, at night, in January, in New York. And when I got home from Target, my lawn had been taken over by several small boys playing football, all of them in shorts. In January. In New York.
And then....I still hadn't had a cigarette, I still hadn't punched out a co-worker or murdered a random stranger or drove my car up on my neighbor's lawn in an effort to stifle their windchimes. And I am still sane.