Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What's Next

I wasn't expecting it today. It came as a shock, a surprise, a baseball bat from around the corner.

The day started off just fine. My wife whispered to me, "get up, time to go for a walk." I wasn't looking forward to it when I first got up and threw on my walking shorts, dangerously ugly t-shirt, and gym shoes, but less than a block on I started to feel good about it. I started enjoying it so much, in fact, that I got a little snarly when we had to head back. "We ought to just change our hours," I said, "and start coming in at 9 o'clock. That way, we could walk as long as we want and not have to watch the clock." My wife responded by suggesting that I should do that; that was her not-so-subtle way of saying she was not interested.

Back at home, she showered first while I made lunch; a salad of canned tuna, green onions, and strips of roasted poblano peppers, topped with a couple of tomatoes I cut into sections. Then it was my turn to return to the "go-to-office" routine: shower, shave, brush teeth, put on uncomfortable long pants, short-sleeved shirt, and casual but not even close to flip-flop-casual shoes.

By the time we were both ready for work, it was just after 7:30. And I was allowing my loathing of the trip to the office and the day soon to be spent in it to drag my mood into the cellar. I cursed loudly at a psychotic little witch who refused to give an inch to let me merge into freeway traffic. She was far too busy talking on her cell phone and putting on eyeliner to give me any courtesy. And then the hotshot in his Mercedes convertible, also busy on his cell phone, roared around several cars in two lanes behind me, then passed me and swerved into the tiny space in front of me and behind the dump truck I was following. If my wife had not been in the car, I would have given myself good reason to replace my car by slamming his little money-pit into the dump truck that was now in front of him. But, my wife would have slashed my throat before I could have fully relished the glory, so I simply sat on the horn and shot him the finger. My wife finds that childish behavior EXTREMELY annoying; I may have been better off with blood squirting from my neck.

By the time we pulled into the parking lot of my office, I was ready for a lousy day. Well, ready is not the word. I was resigned to it. I didn't want it. I wanted to go to the beach or for a drive in the country or to an animal shelter where I could pick up a pug-mix that really liked me!

The brief "cool" spell of the last two days, with temperatures getting only into the low nineties, has disappeared. So when we got out of the car, the humidity and heat struck us with the force of a board smashing against our chests. We limped inside, where the temperature was more hospitable, but only mildly so. And then we entered our office.

I struggled through the first hour of the morning with some mild degree of success, so when it happened, it was completely unexpected. Nothing of any consequence precipitated it, though a few things had gone "wrong" already this morning. But nothing earth-shattering. But then when I realized that I had to send out two board meeting agendas and found that the financial reports that ALWAYS must go with them had not been completed as they should have been...the 20th of last month...I just snapped.

I got up, pulled my keys from my pocket, and headed for the door. "I'm out of here," I said to my wife and anyone else within earshot. And then I added, not as loud, "and I'm not coming back." And I left. I went straight down to my car, started it up, and drove away. First I headed east, then south, and then just drove with no particular attention paid to the direction I was going. I passed two or three police cars and only after I passed each one did I look down to see that I was going at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit. But I didn't even slow down. I just kept driving.

It was an hour or so later, I think, that I started thinking about what I was doing. And that brought me back to the office, eventually. And I walked in to the suite, past the offices up front, and into mine in the rear corner. And the rest of the day was pretty normal; dull, annoying, upsetting, occasionally interesting. But I just can't get it out of my mind that I had decided, on the spur of the moment, to leave. And when I walked out the door, I intended it to be permanent. I even thought of what I would tell my clients and my staff and how I would deal with the business.

I suppose my little episode was a warning to myself. It wasn't a warning that I need a vacation. I just took one. It was a warning that I better get serious about what's next.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Well, this is good news. Although it would have been better news if you had stayed away from the office. And instead of driving aimlessly around town, gone into a bar and started throwing back shots of whiskey. That's the ending of the story *I* want.

Still, well done.

YourFireAnt said...

The ending *I* want is he drove and he drove and he drove until he ran out of road, got out of the car, and found himself in ocean.


word verification is "exity" ;-)

KathyR said...

If you figure out how to figure out what the Next Thing is, let me know.

Good luck to you. Nothing wrong with a little walk or drive around the block.

Could the Bastard have made it to an ocean? You would have had to head straight for the gulf. And you probably would have had to stop for gas.

Springer Kneeblood said...

Ellie, believe me, the idea of throwing back a few shots of whiskey could have had some serious appeal. But there are no bars to my liking in the vicinity.

FA, driving into the ocean is not really my style.

Kathy, when I figure it out, I'll post a note to you. And, despite his periodic thirst for my cash, the Bastard is solid...but I would have had to get gas before hitting the beach at Galveston. Or wherever.