My Day in Fifths

1. My day had elements of road rage woven throughout. A guy cut me off on the freeway ramp and then gave me the finger for the next mile while I mouthed the words “Fuck yourself, asshole.” Later, I thought it would have been way better to have blown him kisses. He sped up once we got on the freeway and started passing people. I wondered for a minute what would happen if he ended up being the person I was going to meet. Does that ever happen? If it does, do you just pretend it didn’t happen or does it queer whatever deal you had going?

2. Later that same day, some student parked her car so it blocked my driveway. Disbelieving, I backed my car up, staring at the tan sedan in my rear view mirror, a huge part of me wanting to back my car to within a centimeter of hers, a wee part of me thinking I’d like to just ram her car, you know, how sometimes you think that if you veered just so, you could take your car sailing right off a bridge? It occurred to me that I was getting overly intense, especially later when I moved a lawn chair to the sidewalk to await her return. The sensation of having gone around the bend made my hair fly and gave me vertigo so I went in the house.

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3. It struck me at various points today that I was having a lot of trouble with mood control. Shooting baskets helped for a while. And so did going to Target where I calmed myself by buying a metal bottle of walnut oil because it looked so sturdy, like something that would have been in my grandmother’s kitchen in Hastings. Like she would ever have walnut oil.

4. There was work today. I met with an alderwoman in a neighboring city about homelessness. She sat across the table from me, looking every inch the stereotypical suburban matron, her hair done in a beautiful french twist, so carefully done. She teased me that we should have gone to scarf arranging school together and gave me a tip that a nice pin could hold a scarf nicely at the shoulder. Then she turned her attention to homelessness in her city. She laid it all out for me. She unwrapped the problem, rearranged the parts, stacked them up in a new way, retied the ribbon and handed it back to me. While I sat with my mouth hanging open and my scarf askew.

5. It’s the night before my 67th birthday. All day I have been intermittently (between bouts of road rage) dwelling on regretting having gone out with my roommate’s boyfriend after she had spent a year and a half writing him letters on that thin airmail paper that used to fold in on itself. He was a Seabee in Vietnam and then he came home, immediately got in a motorcycle accident and broke his jaw. When I met him, stopping in to say hi for her when I was visiting from out of town, his jaw was wired shut. It set a tone of minimalism in our relationship. Thinking about him and what a crummy friend I’d been to her convinced me that the whole notion of saying you’ve lived life with no regrets is a pile of crap, although there was the immediate Karma of another friend stealing him from me. He had by then become unwired. Still, two wrongs don’t make a right. So I regret my part in that chain of events.

7 Comments on “My Day in Fifths

  1. Happy Birthday!

    2. Unbelievable. I live in a college town, too, with the cousins of the entitled little snowflakes in yours. I would have been tempted to maneuver my car out of the driveway and in front of hers bumper to bumper, then asked a neighbor to do the same on the other end. She probably would have just sat in the car and cried, which would be a lovely sight to see.
    4. Tell us more about this one.

    Lovely street you live on, btw.

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  2. Someone parked a car across the driveway with me, too. I however, wasn’t as nice as you. I wrote a very nasty letter that felt wonderful to write and put it on the windshield. In a document protector to keep it dry in the rain so the driver would be sure to be able to read it. That letter didn’t help the supreme irritation so I called a deputy and had the car towed. THAT helped. I’m still pleased with myself.
    I hope you had a wonderful birthday and that your celebration resulted in more stories we can look forward to.

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  3. Happy Birthday! My 66th is coming up. At every age I have been able to do my best creative swearing at cars and people driving them. 😄

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  4. I got up because I couldn’t sleep – which gives me the perfect opportunity to be the first to wish you a Happy Birthday today. I hope it is a good one – but you have to wonder where the student’s brain was when she parked. It is something I would expect to see here in Florida where old people do really stupid parking stunts. Maybe they aren’t that far apart – and need some understanding. Maybe I’ll develop some tolerance for stupidity one of these days. But maybe not.

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