All of us. Just trying to get along, go along and get past.
I've been depressed lately. My two best buds at work, my co-workers, Julie and Piper will be gone as of August 1st. Julie off to Mexico to marry her soul mate and Piper staying put, but gun shy after a cancer scare. Now all she wants to do is share time and space with her husband and travel a lot to California to visit her grandkids.
So...there will be two more sharing this office: Fawn and Jin. We will be fine, good times will erupt. But, right now...all I can seem to see is boxes being loaded up by Julie and Piper as they slowly erase themselves from our workplace. Like most people, I am leery of change. It scares me.
The weather of the last three seasons has been baffling. Our last Winter was confusing. Extremely mild. No snow storms. Not even much snow or below freezing temps. Spring sort of came in unnoticed and left without telling anyone. Summer arrived in April and has been here with a vengeance. Extreme heat, humidity and drought. All of us prairie people are walking around totally bewildered. Where is our regular weather? Will Autumn ever come? We are unsettled, wary.
On the home front, Bing is preparing for a trip to California. A seminar. She leaves Saturday and will be gone for a week. She is worried about her back as this seminar is very walking intensive. But, she wants to try it and it will give her an idea about whether she can go to India in late December for her Fulbright scholarship. I feel pouty about this and embarrass myself by acting all clingy, bottom lip thrust out. We have a family vacation planned for the first two weeks of December this year, to go to Louisiana, so we don't want to spend the money for Liv and me to accompany her to California. Also, I need to be at the office to help train our new counselors. So, we'll stay here. In the heat. And humidity. Yeah, I am one good sport.
I see discourse all around me. Something in the air. Plus, I seem to be a magnet for odd people and events, lately. The other day at work, I was on the 5th floor picking up some paperwork and needed to use the bathroom so I stepped in for a quick pee.
There was someone in the first stall, so I quickly went into the fourth one and drizzled down my nylons (god...they are AWFUL when it is so muggy out). Sat down and commenced to relieve my bladder. Suddenly, my ears began to pick up something. What was it? Singing? YES! The woman in the first stall was singing softly. I listened.
Three little kittens have lost their mittens and they began to cry!
"Oh, mother dear, see here, see here, our mittens we have lost!"
"What? Lost your mittens? You naughty kittens!......"
She was um....acting out the parts.
The voices of the kittens were cloyingly babyish, while their mother had sort of a gruffish sound.
I was totally grossed out. And strangely embarrassed. And a little concerned.
I finished up my business and walked out of the stall. The singing did not stop or slow down. She just went on singing the verses. I remembered this rhyme from Liv's toddlerhood, but to hear it sung in a women's restroom was downright CREEPY.
I wondered if I should inquire if the woman needed help, but decided to fuck it. Especially because the singing sounds were accompanied by the sounds of a rather juicy bowel movement. Perhaps she had been trying to drown out the sounds of her wet farting and loud ploppings of feces?
I opened the door to walk out just as another woman was going in. I gave her a look of warning and went back to my office.
And then today, I left work early because I had to have some bloodwork done. Since I've been in remission, all of my bloodwork in the last two years has been clean, but I still hate getting it drawn every three months. I went in to the lab and held out my arm, ready to be a pin cushion. The phlebotomist was one of my favorites, a small Korean man who never tries to engage me in conversation and always gets my tiny rolling veins on the first try. I was third in line, so sat on a chair and thumbed through a People magazine while I waited. Next to me was a shockingly pale, but nice looking 30 something man with a surfer's blonde hair. He smiled at me and held out his hand to shake even though I had only nodded at him, didn't introduce myself.
Shit, I thought...I hope he's not a talker...
He wasn't. But his hand was icy cold. I glanced at him under my lashes and noted that while he was very, very pale...he had the blood red lips of a vampire. I wondered if it was lipstick?
Soon, he was called and then I was, so I didn't think much about it.
Until I was walking out to my car and felt a hand on my elbow. Instinctively, I put my car key in between my first and second fingers, ready to scratch if necessary and turned sharply.
It was the pale man. He said very quietly, "I just wanted to see if you needed me to walk you to your car. You are so lovely and all alone. And...you smell like lilies of the valley and soft marshmallows."
I gave him my best glower and looked silently at his hand on my elbow and then up at him. He removed his hand. I told him that no, I did not need assistance and started to turn away. But not before I noticed his sharp incisors when he smiled.
God, he really did look vampirish. I was relieved when two burly looking men in scrubs turned the corner and walked towards us. I glanced back at the vampire.
He was gone. Just like a vampire.
I stopped at Whole Paycheck on my way home to pick up some goat's milk for work (I'm the only one who drinks it in my coffee, everyone else acts as if I am drinking squirrel milk or something...) and some ALA for our vitamin cabinet. As I walked down the aisle, I paused in front of the ALA section, noting with a sigh that there must be about ten different brands. I began perusing them, trying to find the best buy. My back and shoulder were aching. My rheumatoid arthritis has been acting up lately and afternoons have been hard on me. I shifted my purse to the other side and resumed looking.
I felt a small hand rubbing my back and started, looking down into the eyes of a child of about 7 or 8 years.
I heard the click clack of high heels as her mother came striding up.
"Now, Annabelle, please stop!" she said. "Remember we talked about how it is unacceptable to go around touching people. They don't like it."
The child removed her hand, but smiled at me gently.
"I could tell that her back was hurting her and I wanted to help," she said in a quiet voice.
"No, no. She can take care of her own back, honey," the mother said. She smiled apologetically at me. "I'm sorry. Annabelle is um...sort of intuitive. She means no harm," she said as she gently pulled her away.
I didn't answer, but looked after Annabelle and her mother. Annabelle looked back at me and waved shyly. I waved back.
How did she know that my back hurt? I didn't think I had winced or anything? Wow. And the mother had acted as if this was a regular occurrence.
As I drove home, I had to laugh a little. A crazy woman, a vampire and an intuitive all in the same week. I turned into my driveway and stopped at the end of it to get out and check the mail. As I walked across the side walk, I noticed a penny on the ground.
Find a penny, pick it up. All day long, you'll have good luck.
I pocketed it.
I walked into the house, feeling my soul sink just a little at the darkness of it, with all of our blinds drawn tightly to keep out the heat. Bing was working at school today, Liv was at a friend's home. I let the dog out to pee (and he did it quickly and then scratched to be let in within a minute...so hot out) and went up to our bedroom to peel off my work clothes.
I lay back on the bed in my slip, blessedly barefoot, the hot sun trying to stick it's steamy long fingers through the plantation blinds. I felt my back relax a little as I stretched out my calves.
All of us are here. Flying around this planet together doing our own little walks of life, trying to get by.
That thought hit me and I came here in my office to write about it.
How is your walk of life going?