The day started like any other. I work up, slightly delirious and stumbled out of bed.
I’m a father now though, when you’ve got a newborn you have to literally learn to fall all over again. In this case, I can still ragdoll my body out of the bed, but I have to do it with a divine grace that’s a portmanteau of the flailing of an animal traversing over ice with the precision of a ninja to avoid any sort of sound that will wake my son.
As I do so, I slowly gather my clothes for today from various sources. Boxers from a basket, socks from the floor, and some crumpled up dress clothing from the dryer. I’m a nerd so simple fetch quests like this while not alerting anyone are completely within my wheelhouse.
I look in the mirror, the amazing haircut a friend had given to me days prior has taken to becoming my worse enemy in the mornings. The short cut on the sides combined with my hair’s want to curl turns my head into a trigger that brings back haunting memories of the Meet the Deedles poster from the year of my graduation.
I run my comb through some water, and run that comb through my hair. It takes about thirty trips before my hair gets the hint and lays back down. It knows it’s not going anywhere good so it just accepts it and stops fighting.
I cut through the living room where my wife and son lay on the couch, both having fallen asleep midbreastfeed. I get through undetected and my animal brain forces my head to look at the coffee machine. The Keurig I was so excited to get for Christmas due to it’s quick ease for someone with not a lot of time in the morning has became a constant tormentor as the use of it fills the immediate area with the sound of a small aircraft flying directly overhead for a few seconds. I bypass it and, donning my shoes and jacket, head out the door.
I still need caffeine though. I see the blinking C8H10N4O2 meter at the bottom right of my HUD blinking red. I’m dangerously low on caffeine so, reluctantly, I head to Starbucks. On my way to work at 5:30 in the morning, your choices are burnt Starbucks, watered down McDonalds or risking chlamydia by entering a Marathon gas station. So, Starbucks makes sense this morning.
I pull up. Get my usual from them. A caramel flan flavored latte. I’m not entirely certain who felt we needed flan, as it’s a desert that absolutely no one in America has had more than five times, but I’m glad they took the risk because the taste is a warm hug that completely masks the taste of what they call coffee.
I continue my drive to work. I’m not sure what happened in the last month, but my normally quiet drive to work in the morning has been ruined by an increase in traffic. It’s very obnoxious because my drive contains one of the most notorious two lanes into one mergers in the county. One with the highest accident rate in the state. But, I get through it and them safely and get to work.
I’m early. But I like early. Early allows me to sit down at my computer and do the one thing my company loathes the most, being creative. So I write. I just pour forth some silly first person story about my morning. Getting overly flowery with the descriptions of mundane events as if I was penning some detective crime noir. But any similarities with a detective noir life is torn from me when the door opens and she walks in.
She’s about five foot three, and three feet left to right. I face like a witch with hair like a clown. Imagine if McDonalds decided to have Grimace breed with a Fry Guy, the resulting lovechild is this person. She sits down at her desk after having various conversations stuffed to the brim with the phrases, “girl”, “shit”, and “my man”. Doubly so now that Valentine’s Day is approaching and she’s worried she’s not going to get everything she deserves. I side with her quietly, agreeing that she should get exactly that.
She sits at her desk, and that’s when the fun begins. Taking out what I can only imagine is a perfume bottle modified with a container of canned air, she starts to spray herself and her cubicle with something that smells like the sort of thing you’d spray on a tree if you’re trying to attract and hunt and animal that feeds only on gasoline and dead horse flesh.
The noxious cloud spreads over the top of her cubicle and spreads down the aisles, my tiny fan barely preventing the onslaught as my senses are assaulted.
I turn my head and look at the sign I’ve posted in my cubicle describing my allergy to artificial fragrances that I posted per the advice of a lawyer and wonder if this is an Osha kind of day.
I shrug it off. That’ll be something for another day, I’m too tired to start on that. That’s an activity for those with fully functioning brains.
I realize that it’s getting late and I should have started working already. But I hadn’t figured out a way to tie a ribbon on the story I was writing. Not sure what to do.
I think for a minute, shrug, and simply write…