Blog, Essays & Art

Five minutes. 08/11/04

I woke up 5 minutes before I was supposed to leave the house this morning. Crap. What do I do, with only five minutes to get ready for work? Throw on the first pair of pants I find. Grab a shirt hanging up in the closet, button it while going to the kitchen. Grab the box of cat food, pour out a bit onto the plates, lunge across the room and open the window, letting in a stream of meowing cats. Go into the office, find my bag. Put $1.22 in the bag, along with my book, purse, brush, perfume. Buckle on sandals, get sweater. Put on sweater while turning on lizard's lamp. Open blinds. Lurch into the bathroom, drip saline into both eyes to clear off enough of the film on my lenses so I can see better. Put on deodorant. Rush through the house and out the door, walk briskly down to the bus stop, buttoning up sweater and raking my hands through snarled hair on the way. Sit down at bus stop, catch my breath. Rummage for change at bottom of purse. Assemble $1.50 bus fare and peer down the street expectantly.

When the bus comes I do not drop any of the coins on the floor for once. I make my way to a window seat, sit down and take out my mirror and brush. Oddly enough I don't look half bad. I fix my hair, look out the window at the houses going by, the beach, the trees. I look at the windows and porches and driveways of the little houses, hoping to see a cat or two. There's a grey cat sitting in a front lawn of grey gravel, I smile and realize my face is stiff and my breath smells like garlic.

Arriving at the mall, get off the bus and go to the coffee shop. I have a "frequent buyer" card with all 10 punches on it. I redeem it for a free large double mocha. I sit down at a bench and look in the mirror again, my breath now smells like chocolate and I have whipped cream on my lip. Scrub at my face with a paper napkin, put lotion on, and apply a bit of lipgloss and eyeliner. Visine, definitely necessary. Few drops in each eye. Much better.

It is then that I realize I was supposed to get up earlier than usual in the morning, and call the bank. It is then that I realize I am wearing a long-sleeved shirt and black velvet pants, and it is the middle of August.

But then I remember that all the hard work I usually have to do at my job was already done on Monday. For at least the next 3 days I will be able to relax and surf the internet and take long lunches. I sigh with relief and stretch my stiff muscles as I leave the bench at the mall and walk outside. A skateboarder I pass on the sidewalk gives me a big smile. I wonder if I have whipped cream on my face again. Then I remember that I am actually an attractive young woman, even though at 8:45 in the morning, 20 minutes after waking up, I feel a hundred years old, like a desiccated, grimy, slow-motion dinosaur lumbering down the walkway. But each long sip of coffee takes off about 20 years, once I gulp it all down I should be back to my normal Goddess self.

I shall spend a good part of the day going through all the ads I've built over the past year at this job, and save them to a zip disk to print out in color as samples of my work for my portfolio. Then I shall peruse the job search websites and see what's out there this week. Maybe I'll get the chance to send off a few resumes. I can print them out here too, for handing them to prospective employers in person. Looking for work without having a home computer, and without a car to get around in, is difficult but not impossible. Oh, and I will need to visit Tomatonation and Hallmarks of Felinity again. I love having this free time at work, and will take advantage of it fully.



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