It all started with a wasp in the shower. Have you seen a wasp up close? They're terrifying things, like some sort of sci-fi shocktroopers, all black and shiny. Horrible creatures.
Anyway, so yeah, having one of those skulking around while I'm all disrobed and wet and vulnerable does not set a great precedent for the awesomeness of a day. I disposed of the wasp by knocking it out with a tile that fell off a while back and man, I really need to get that back on the shower wall. Then I drowned the poor thing with the shower water. Dude never had a chance, but hey, it was me or him. I am a stone-cold insect killer. As I exited the shower, with the bloody business behind me and the wasp carcass en route to its final resting place - the sewers of the Greater Cleveland area via toilet - I felt like Conan. The Barbarian, not O'Brien. Why would killing a wasp make me feel like Conan O'Brien? You guys are weird.
So yeah, I figured that was the end of the weirdness/suck for today. I was wrong.
First, a little background/numbers: I take the train to work. There's a Rapid Station roughly a mile from where we live, so most mornings - barring foul weather or my own inability to get moving in the morning - I walk to the train. Fare is $2 per way or I could pay like $4.75 for an all-day pass, which if you think about it, it unnecessary if I'm just going to and from work. So yeah, two bucks.
It takes me roughly 30 minutes from my front door to the front door of my office. My work day starts at 8:30 am, so I need ot leave my house as close to 8:00 am as possible. Today I left at 8:04 am if you split the difference between my alarm clock and the microwave clock I passed on my way out. using the magic or addition, you could postulate my arrival at my office at 8:34 am, give or take five minutes.
I got here at 8:59.
And here's where the suckiness comes in. So I left my house with a $10 bill. This is a problem, because the RTA only allows for exact change. So I needed to break my bill. As I walk toward the station, I am faced with two options to do this: I can either go a little out of my way and hit the Circle K, by something small and get change, or I can do the same thing at a little cafe' on the way to the train. I opt for the latter.
This does not work, as the cafe' - whose hours are posted as being open 8 am - 5 am, Monday through Saturday - is totally dark and locked up. Awesome.
So, Plan B comes into play. The RTA (Regional Transit Authority, Cleveland's public transportation system) has recently added automated fare card machines to their lobbies. They're set up so ridiculously, but I can either use my debit card or the cash slot thing and the machine will give me change. Okay, cool.
Except when I get to the train station, the machines are down and the change machine that was there previously has been evicted to make room for these lovely, retarded machines that are just sitting there with laminated "Coming Soon!" signs stuck to their tiny screens. Which is stupid because I used them twice just last week.
I know the guy in the booth who's working hard on his crossword puzzle while he talks on his phone can't give me change and there's not really anybody else in the station that I can maybe get to break my tenner (as has happened before). So yeah, the suck is in full effect.
So, Plan C gets broken out of its protective glass case and I cut my hand a little pulling it out: there's another Circle K on an intersection now too far from the station, but I know it'll add another 15 minutes, round trip - to my walk, but what other option do I have? So I take a walk, knowing that it's over. I'm officially going to be late.
I go into Circle K, which is a nicer one than the one closer by my house, the one I should have gone to in the first place, the one that would have only derailed my by 4 minutes or so. I get a Polar Pop (a gigantic fountain soda that costs 59 cents, I fill it with Pepsi even though I'm trying not to drink soda in hopes that I can lose some chub, another portion of suck added to the pile) and slap my $10 bill down as payment.
The clerk, your average surly minimum wage counter jockey, a twenty-something lady with a weird mini-goiter-like bulge on her neck, can barely manage to make eye contact with me as she counts back my change: a five, four ones and come coin. Those four ones are gonna get me to work and back. Why didn't I think of this yesterday. Duh! She taps her finger impatiently on the debit/credit terminal as I put the five and two ones in my wallet and the remaining coin and bills into my front pocket. The whole transaction takes less than a minute, but still, she can't wait for me to leave. There is no one else in line behind me, so it's not like this is holding anything up, and like I said, this weird thing I do takes an extra maybe 15 seconds, tops. For some reason this bothers me a lot, her impatience.
I scoot back across the main street while Beulah sings "And the Wild West is a slow pan/and the sunshine is fake/and the ocean is just painted/on a backdrop downtown." As I make my way back to the station, I kid myself that since I haven't seen a train pass me yet, that I just might time this perfectly. I fantasize that I pay my fare, hustle my way up the escalator, skip across the walkway that spans the tracks and then down the stairs on the other side just as my train pulls up. Then I see the train pull past me across the parking lot while I'm still only halfway back to the station. Stupid fantasies.
So I dejectedly pay my fare, scowling at those useless automated machines, doing math in my head as I plop onto the escalator, trudge across the walkway and lumber down the stairs. It's 8:38 am and there are no lights down the tracks. No train coming any time soon. I have my newest copy of Wired, but I'm too bummed to crack it open. I try to play Solitaire on my iPod but can't muster up the attention. All I can do is stand on the platform, grit my teeth and wait for the train to show up.
So yeah, how was your morning?