One hour. One hour to go out and do a couple of errands. Buy a gift card for my sister-in-law at Dunkin’ Donuts (and pick up a dozen of my favorites), and pick up cigarettes and a prescription at Walgreens. Simple enough. Right?
It started before I got to the garage. I’d come downstairs wearing the wrong glasses, so rather than go back, even though it was heavily overcast, I decided to wear my sunglasses. Set the alarm, went into the garage, found I’d left my keys inside. Just felt like a moron, nothing major.
Of course, my garage door opener broke last week, so I get to pull it open. Get into the car and struggle for two minutes to fasten the seat belt. What the heck? Back it out, realize it wasn’t even necessary to put on the seat belt, go back into the garage, close the door and go back into the house. Duh. Reset the alarm, then go out the front door. Back to the car. Now I can’t get the seat belt fastened, and drive to Dunkin’ Donuts without it.
They’re closed. There’s nothing on the door to say why, only a sign saying, “We ARE open on Christmas Day.”
Back into the car – and had no trouble at all fastening the seat belt.
Instead of driving through the mall parking lot to the Shell station at the end, I went to the exit. The line of traffic seemed endless, and I smacked myself for another dumb decision. Drove the thousand feet or so to the station, pulled up to a pump – and it kept telling me I was sliding my debit card in the wrong direction. I tried every possible direction. Twice. Nada. So I figured there’s a problem with the card reader.
Now, it is 29 degrees out today, with a 21 degree wind chill. I had to take off my glove to get the debit card, and already my right hand was aching to the bone. I drove to another pump and tried again. On the third try of various card directions, the damp pump accepted it, and I started filling the tank. My hand was now fiery cold – but where was my glove? Not in my pocket. Not in the car where I thought I’d tossed it. Yes, I had I dropped it by the first pump. (A lady was filling up there. So the card reader does work.)
I was so flustered by this time that I yelled at the pump when it told that if I wanted a receipt, I’d have to see the clerk inside. Holding my cold, aching right hand up at the heat vent, I went out on the road once more. But I hadn’t gone very far when I realized I hadn’t screwed the gas cap back on. At the next stoplight, which I know is a long light, I got out and fixed that. Then it was on to Walgreens.
Well, hooray, they have Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards! I grabbed one out of the display, then asked for my usual three cartons of cigarettes at checkout. The clerk said she only had one. I told her I’ll take it. She checked me out, and then for the first time I realized I had grabbed two gift cards. Well, hell, I’ll use one for myself. I’ve earned it, right?
NOTHING WENT WRONG at the pharmacy counter. And except for having some difficulty with the seat belt, nothing went wrong on the way home.
I’m home. It’s over. In through the front door, out into the garage to open the garage, drove the car in. Really shaken and pissed off by this time, I stomped out to get the mail.
And… slipped on the ice and fell, banging my left knee hard, twisting, getting both hands down but still knocking my head on the asphalt.
I lay there and said out loud, “I should have known it wasn’t over.”
I tried to get up, pushed my upper body off the asphalt, but my left knee bloody hurt, so getting up on that side was a problem. When I roll to my right, I found that side was all icy and unsafe.
While I sat there debating, something went right.
A very nice gentleman driving by saw me and stopped. I told him I wasn’t hurt except for a what felt like a skinned and bruised knee, that I’d bumped my head but with no injury. He helped me up and asked with concern how I was. I said my head was clear. He looked doubtful, so I told him to hold up fingers, and I was able to tell him he’d held up just one.
He went and got my mail, then insisted on walking me back into the garage. He asked again if I was sure I was okay. I smiled and assured him I was; we exchanged names and he went away.
And all of this happened in just over an hour.
My knee is, in fact, skinned and bruised. My low back aches. My head is fine. I’ve taken a strong dose of Advil, and now, instead of getting any work done, I’m going to lie down for awhile.
I know we all have “those days.” Packing it all into a single hour takes talent.
Thank you for ending it so sweetly, Fred.