Fluffy’s Bad Day (Or: I Laugh So I Don’t Cry)

[NOTE: A few months ago I wrote this on my facebook; after much hemming-and-hawing I’ve decided to repost it here. Please be aware that it contains swearing.]

“How was your day today?”

Let me tell you.

From the moment my eyes first cracked at the sound of what was, apparently, my third alarm of the day I knew that today was going to be “interesting.” Not only did my first two alarms (and, interestingly, my last) not go off inexplicitly, my phone intimated that they’d never existed and who am I to question them in such a rude tone of voice at this ungodly hour of 8:50am, thank you very much.

After apologizing profusely (a.k.a. resetting my phone) I managed to snuggle into bed for another minute before harrumphing at my fourth alarm and getting up to turn it off.

This alarm, clearly intent on singing the song of its people, did not take kindly to me turning it off. It played again, and again, and again even after I dismissed it three times. “Fuck you,” my alarm said, “THIS IS MY SOLO!”

Disgruntled, I turned my phone to the youtube app because I woke up singing Zedd’s Clarity (because apparently my brain knew just what kind of relationship I have with my alarms and the morning). As the ads played on my app I got into the shower and listened. Something about a superb owl and someone being “up for anything” and beer. Lots of beer.

I think my phone was trying to send me a message that it was well hung over because once the ads (which played without a single delay) finished it proceeded to play Clarity. In five second stints. Five seconds, you may be interested to find out, is exactly how long it takes to get Fluffy singing at full voice before the song cuts off.

Additionally, there was no hot water. When I say “no hot water” this is maybe a small exaggeration; water came out of the spigot if I turned on the hot water knob, however it was just not hot. I merely looked at my razor, which replied with a glare that said “don’t even try it, buddy” and gave up.

Somehow I broke my unbreakable comb in the shower. I’m not entirely sure what happened. I kinda blacked out there for a little bit from the rage. All I know is that it was in two pieces when I got out of the shower, “IF OUR LO…” playing overhead “VE IS TRA” like some sort of “DGEDY WHY ARE” perverse alarm clock “YOU MY REM” made with mu”EDY!?”sic.

Stepping out of the shower, I began the process of drying my hair and body, during which I dropped my towel in the toilet. I’m not exactly sure what made my towel shout out “SCREW THIS I’m going to a REAL beach!” as it leapt from my hands and body into the open bowl of the (thankfully recently flushed) toilet, however it really did soak up something. Unfortunately it wasn’t rays of sunshine.

I grabbed my deodorant, understandably irritated and bemoaning my already-ruined day and began to apply under my arms. I say began because my deodorant giggled as it then decapitated itself, bouncing on my carpet at the foot of one of my poodles who proceeded to pick it up and run away. After chasing her down and castigating her I sighed and threw out my deodorant, thankful for the fact that I had a backup.

I say had. I wish I could use the present tense instead. I opened my extra deodorant to find it practically LIQUIFIED in its holder. Assuming that this was likely not a good sign I (wisely in my humble opinion) opted to toss it in the garbage as well.

I let out a roar. I’m not actually exaggerating here. I roared. It scared the crap out of my dogs who, freaked the fuck out, decided to bark back at the animal that had clearly inhabited my body to tell it to evacuate “or else.” Now, remember, my dogs are poodles. Were I to actually be inhabited by some terrifying, roaring creature I’m not entirely sure what they expected they’d be able to do. Still, I appreciate their efforts.

Pulling on my pants they ripped down the middle seam. No, no, not ON the seam. Next to it. You know, where it’s not really repairable in a way that isn’t noticeable.

It was at this point that a moment of “CLARITY” hit both me and my phone (which decided, apparently, that it was going to play through the entire song and “off” button be DAMNED) and I realized… I was using up ALL of my bad luck for the day right now. This was happening to give me perspective for what was about to be an insanely GREAT day of amazing happenings.

How naive I was, nine hours ago. How naive.

I finished the process of getting dressed with little other fanfare, thankfully. Picking pieces of comb out of my very frizzy hair, I went upstairs, closed the gate to the basement, grabbed my coats and put them on, got in my car to just DRIVE goddamnit.

Apparently god really did damn it. The drive, I mean. There aren’t really words to explain what happened to me on that drive beyond “everything short of actually crashing and causing damage to my car.” On one hand, I’m very thankful there was no one in the left lane when I had to violently swerve out of the way of a very insistent semi-truck. On the other hand, having to simultaneously slam on my brakes to not hit the person driving, with their blinkers on at 40mph, who decided to cut me off into the left lane as well maybe ten seconds later was less than stellar. I got to practice driving while fishtailing though.

Getting in to work I sat down and preceded to start my day. I turned on my computer which threw up a delightful black screen with white text. Apparently 2048MB of RAM failed between Tuesday at 4pm and today at 10:45am. Fancy that. Unfortunately I work with/for people who I’m not entirely sure understand the concept of what RAM is who are also the people I need to go through to get said RAM fixed or replaced.

While at work I managed to troubleshoot about three issues that they’d been waiting for over a week for IT to come see us for. Because I’m me. The nice new secretary, who is much older and not very computer literate, boggled at my skills.

“You know this so well,” she said, “you could do this for a living” she actually said.

“No. No I can’t, unless I want to live on substandard wages that make it difficult to even pay back my student loans, let alone become completely self-sufficient in my life. I’d make more money than what you guys pay me but not much.”

Instead of actually saying that, I smiled sweetly, thanked her, and pointed out that, actually, unskilled IT support is widely devalued and poorly paid. I’d need to get a degree if I wanted to make any real money and I’m not smart enough for computer science. I’m just competent because I’ve grown up with computers.

I proceeded to teach her how to use windows explorer (you know, to look at files on her computer), internet explorer (including helpful hints such as “no, you don’t actually have to type the url INTO google. You can just type it in the bar up top), microsoft office (“yes, if you just highlight that text right there, then right click you can choose “copy” and then right click where you want it to go and choose “paste” to make it appear”) and, even more fun, Microsoft Access (which I’m still not very competent with).

“This is hell,” I thought, not for the first time, “I’ve died and I’ve gone to hell, where I work as an IT person for someone who has been a secretary for forty years and can’t use a computer for $10/hour.”

Around 12:15pm I noted that I really needed to go to my 12:00pm meeting that was all the way in the library. She was very understanding and thankful for my assistance and told me to have fun. Practically running to the library, my uncooperative phone refused to let me see the GLASA facebook page to find out what room/area the meeting was in today. Indeed, stubborn to the last second, I ran outside and got to the elevators (wearing only a hoodie, not my coats) before it finally loaded and informed me “actually, dimwit, you didn’t really need to go outside. Hope you like hypothermia mothafuckaaaaaaaa” before turning off for some inexplicable reason.

Jogging back to the main classroom I went to the third floor where, apparently, Rubik himself decided on the numbering system of the rooms. “Fuck you, Fluffy,” he thought, as he painstakingly labeled 343 after 315, “and fuck your sense of logic.”

Finding the room, I settled in for GLASA which was lovely, if kinda negatively charged (though it had to be). Afterward I talked to the awesome Hyacinthe for a minute then got my food.

“Grilled Chicken 4-piece meal, please.”

“We aint got none.”

“I’m sorry?”

“We run out of grilled chicken.”

“I… what?” My consternation, you understand, stemmed from the fact that…they bread their own breaded chicken strips.

“We used ‘em all up.”

“Oh. Well, I guess I’ll have the normal kind then.” as she heaped them into the paper holder I sighed. *So much for gluten free. Hello hives tonight.” I’d forgotten to eat beforehand, you see. Well. Forgot is a strong word. Unfortunately no one except Sonic serves lunch before 10:30am which means that I can’t really eat gluten free from fast food (where I typically just get french fries).

As I pumped ketchup into the little ramekin the pump decided that I needed a spring in my step. “Here!” it said enthusiastically, “have some EXTRA!” right as I was finishing the last pump into the last ramekin and SPLAT all over.

“Thank you Ketchup. I really needed that today.”

I returned to my office only to have to continue teaching my new coworker by… re-teaching her everything I’d taught her that morning only in less than an hour ’cause she left at 2pm.

Did I mention hell? Oh, I did? Ok, good.

After she left I began to do research like I was supposed to do. Unfortunately, my computer disagreed with that notion. Apparently in addition to breaking its own RAM to spite its speed, my computer’s decided that it doesn’t really like the APA website. At all. Fuck APA. Who needs to know anything about psychology not on ask.com? Not my user!

Eventually I got so frustrated I sent a quick update email and left, intent on doing work from the comfort of MY computer and beating traffic. I’m not exactly sure why I expected anything to go right, at this point. I think I was still holding out the hope from before. Surely, SURELY, something amazing was going to happen. Something. Please dear god. Anything. A call from the Ohio lottery or something. I don’t even know.

Instead god apparently thought that I needed a remix of my morning drive! It was great, like a remix of everything Skrillex has ever done by Metallica, Ozzy Osborne and the creature from the black lagoon. Haunting. Tragic. Fraught with something that feels like it could be talent but is so covered in shit you can’t REALLY tell.

After surviving the majority of the drive home, I merged off the highway and decided that I deserved french fries, goddamnit, and I rolled into Wendy’s. These french fries, guys… I can’t even. They smelled delicious, were piping hot, you could SEE the salt on them (in that “OMG MOUTHWATERING” way not the “WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME WITH BLOOD PRESSURE!?” way). I decided that I would save them for home and, despite my current track record with ketchup, would use just a touch. I was salivating.

Waiting to pull out of the driveway there was a helpful person behind me also turning right but, for some reason, in the left turn only lane. This person proceeded to beep at me, and hold down their horn. I can only imagine that they had more confidence in my car’s ability to become incorporeal than I did or were overestimating its ability to move quickly because, of course, there were numerous cars blocking me from getting out. When I looked over to them to see what the hell was wrong, they raised their middle finger at me and shouted something. Lovely.

Eventually I pulled out of the driveway and they pulled up tight behind me. After the first traffic light they began beeping at me again… despite the fact that I was behind a very slow dump truck that was much bigger than my car. Thankfully, at the second light this person turned left, but not before being sure to raise their middle finger at me one last time.

At this point I think I’d finally given up on hoping for something great to happen. I was just looking forward to going home and resting. To letting the world sort itself out.

Precisely as I was verbalizing that fact to myself the car in front of me (the truck had merged right) stopped so shortly I had to slam my breaks. My bag of french flies FLEW across the car (it was kinda pretty, actually) and landed, top down, on the floor. My comb from my center arm-rest console flipped out of said console, breaking one of its teeth on the way out. My glasses nearly came off my face.

I began to cry. My mood had finally gotten to a point where, if not optimistic, I was at least ok and able to cope. Losing my delicious, PERFECT dinner to this godforsaken traffic? That’s what did it. That’s what broke me. I was broken.

As I rolled up to my house I stopped in the street, crying. I texted my mother about my meal and horrific day and I decided, no. I won’t let it end like this. FRIES WILL HAPPEN.

I went to McDonalds. It’s about a half a mile from my house (instead of the 1.75mile the Wendys would have been to go back to) and while the fries are inferior they’re better than NONE. In the line, apparently, the person behind me decided I needed a gentle tap to get my attention that I was ready to move forward.

Unfortunately we were in the drive-through. I wish I were joking. Luckily there is no damage (it seriously was a tiny tap but still). I paid for my fries and headed home. Once home I cleaned my car of floor-fries and headed inside.

Luckily since I’ve been home nothing terrible has happened… but I’m having trouble shaking that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I think I need to step away from everything electronic.

About Michael Robinson

An eclectic person living in a world rife with binaries, opposition, anger and pain and trying to find the spectra, love, happiness and catharsis within.
This entry was posted in Creative Non-Fiction, Creative Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

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