My stars have been, now what is that phrase I want: out of alignment? Off-course? Off-orbit? Unbalanced? Oh. I know. All of the above!
All through the previous several weeks, I have repeatedly perched on the edge of rather dire precipices, and, thanks to the civilization I am surrounded by, I am pulled back with barely a sliver to spare.
It all started when suddenly, as I was waiting for the promised rains that never came for me, I stumbled on an email telling me that a leg of my upcoming 6-leg journey had been canceled. Since I sleep little at night and use those hours to catch up on neglected tasks, it was a little after 2 am, an hour that lends itself seamlessly to anxiety escalating to panic. I didn't know whom to call and what to do, so, of course, I began to blame everyone and everything, from uncertain times to the stubborn pandemic, to my travel agent, to the sleeping cats, to my friend's upcoming move away from my city, all the way to the loss of my Fairytales course. The connections between these entities and events might seem yoked together with violence, but it made complete sense to me then.
My patient Reader, had you been there, perched next to me at that hour, the circumstance might have been better appreciated. The rising sun, however, brought not only the rains but another missive from my travel agent that I was booked and confirmed on another flight that almost duplicated the lost one.
I exhaled in immense relief, only to find that I had somehow managed to lose one of my very expensive contact lenses. I tried to retrace my actions from the previous night, but I have this daily-nightly ritual of inserting and extracting my lenses by rote. It is something I do without any deliberation or conscious thought or even awareness of the action. Hence, impossible to recall.
I do have glasses, you know spectacles, or I would have been in an unthinkable, unimaginable state of being, wide-eyed and sightless as an owl in bright light. This situation, however, demanded immediate, decisive action from me and so I was forced to bestir myself to order the extremely expensive lens. Of course, a year had just passed since my last eye exam, so the doctor demanded another exam and fitting. This time, no matter how much I blamed the eye care facility, my insurance carriers (yes; I have plural carriers, a cautious creature like me), my mother, the cats, the mess on my work table, and my internet service, no missive, no email, no glimmer of a precious lens peeking out from beneath my bathroom cabinet saved me.
I was condemned to part with a very decent percentage of my hard-hoarded savings and wait for several more weeks before receiving my missing lens.
Of course, I used my improved and sharpened sight to check my email. I must remind myself to avoid doing this as much as possible next time, for waiting for me was an email that seemed to mandate my presence at a work-related event on a Sunday at 7:30 am!
I was flabbergasted and completely outraged. I agree that this job has been growing on me and I am almost ready to acknowledge to myself that I really like going to work, but this was not what I had signed up for! Of course, I blamed my car, my vintage phone circa 2018, the messy floor, the loss of my Greek Myth course, and all the unreasonable demands that the COVID situation makes on a person. I came to work in a sort of an almost-huff and wondered if my co-workers noticed the upcoming event. Everyone looked at me strangely and mumbled something incoherent. I decided it was sympathy and immersed myself in work, which provided some relief.
Shortly after, however, my colleague friend walked into my office with a kind look on her face. She urged me to pull up the email that caused me such discomfort. When I did, I was newly discomfited. Did she not see the date? That was a Sunday this month! Did she not mind? My kind friend let me finish and then pointed to the month. The event was for a future month, not the present one, on a date that fell on a weekday.
This blog post is my exhalation of relief. I imagined myself all dressed for work on Sunday, haunting a deserted venue, panicked, desperately texting and emailing and WhatsApp-ing my supervisor and colleagues, asking them rather unintelligent, incoherent questions about their whereabouts and if there was some misinformation sent out about the venue. Then I imagined everyone just e-shouting at me to go back to sleep.
This would have irritated and flummoxed me enough to blame emails, all Sundays, my water bottles, the transplant clinic, my pressure cooker, the potholes on my street, the loss of my Arthurian Literature course, and my daughter.
Most of all, I might have been forced to blame my own idiocy. I remain ever grateful to my friend and colleague for rescuing me from such a sorry plight.