In the face of grand difficulties, I keep my dignity. There are no public wailings, no long tears. However, when I have to deal with a series of minute but terribly annoying situations, I always lose it. Gone is my Jackie O./Coretta Scott King dignity. In its place is a terrifyingly out of control anger and frustration. And tears. And me yelling “woo-sah”, and other impolite words that aren’t curses, but aren’t great either.
Today, I suffered a string of back-to-back disappointments, which led to pure internal rage. I left my quiet apartment to drive to NY. I wanted to sit and watch the mountain a bit longer, maybe have another french press, but the promise of a $13 pedicure and lure of my family’s home got me out the door.
But the gas station was ridiculously packed. I hadn’t had any breakfast, and for reasons unknown, the McDonald’s in my city was closed, and then completely obliterated. I set my mouth in a grim line and drove to CT for McDonald’s.
Then the traffic.
You would have thought President Barack Hussein Obama himself was on the freeway, handing out free gas vouchers and $100 bills. It usually takes me 2 and a half hours to get from my home to my family’s home; today it took close to 4 and a half. It wasn’t rush hour. There were no terrible accidents that I could see. Just a lot of cars. I kept turning the radio on and off in frustration. How many Drake songs would I have to endure on this drive? Where were all of my good cds? Why is this book on cd so not cutting it right now?
I contemplated driving back to MA (yes, the traffic was that bad). But 95 North looked even worse than 95 South. I stayed put. After exiting (finally!!!!), I got stuck behind a school bus. And several red lights. And my temper was rising. My bladder was near capacity, and I was hungry.
For some strange reason, I attempted to make plans in this condition. Having lived away from New York for a long time, I have no idea where anything is. I had a conversation where I fielded options for where in NY a friend and I should meet. As I was stuck in a car, the thought of more transportation made me ill. Suddenly, I missed the simplicity of MA, where there are only a handful of options, there is free parking, and I wouldn’t have to travel more than twenty minutes to get anywhere. New York’s superiority cannot be debated, but sometimes it’s nice to pull into a Target and know exactly where the French Presses are.
When I got home, I went grocery shopping. There was no longer any time for a pedicure. At the 12 items line, a woman checked out 500 items. I had five. I waited patiently. My cashier rang me up slowly; she was busy flirting with another worker. I resisted the urge to slap her, take my groceries and run.
I was hungry, and tired, and she had to look up the code for red cabbage. I wore a thin smile, as if to say, “you’re making me angry, but I’m a Christian so I can’t hurt you.”
She smiled back.
After making dinner, I realized, with horror, that I forgot my french press and Gevalia coffee at my apartment. I drove to every store I could think of that might have a french press. They were all sold out in this area. I held back tears in the grocery store, and bought coffee anyway, hoping that my parents still have a coffeemaker somewhere. At the grocery store, I chose a different line, with the same results. The woman in front of me had three boxes of cereal, yet it took close to 15 minutes to check her out because she had ten coupons. When another cashier opened up her register, there was a stampede. I stayed put, trying not to grind my teeth.
I finally made it back. My afro looked slightly flat on one side, and my once put together look was more tired than chic. No matter. I had a bottle of Pinot Noir, red velvet cheesecakes, and coffee to consume, good books to read, and a sugar scrub I wanted to try. I couldn’t wait to get in a relaxing shower!
…and then I realized that there weren’t any towels.
I’m stuck between this:
wishing you better days than this,