Again. Entertainment for the masses.
Only this time, the masses is a man who can’t control his dimples. Who was, apparently, sitting in the cab of his dirty white, slightly raised, well-used pick-up truck enjoying his morning coffee while I erupted in a spectacular apoplectic display of coffee, hair and barely coherent screaming in the car parked beside him.
Morning has broken. Indeed.
The past few months have been an oddly comforting balance of calm and uncertainty. The sign is up and there’s no turning back – we’re stepping uneasily and joyfully off the shore and into a future undefined and uncharted. Our conversations are filled with when’s and not what if’s. I listen to their excited chatter and smile.
And pretend I’m not scared as hell.
We’re more than ready – desperate, almost – to leave these walls behind and start fresh where we are no longer the family on the corner but, simply, a family.
I won’t lie … getting that sign up stretched me to a point where those nearest and dearest to me have contemplated how much they value my acquaintance. They get frustrated when I don’t respond to a simple message but what they don’t see is that their frustration only raises the bar on my over-achieving anxiety. Which leads to a chest-seizing bout of panic and an uncanny ability to forget things.
Like the 40 pounds of raw meat patties that we feed the dog.
That I left in the car.
For more than 36 hours.
In late May.
We feed our dog very healthy, very raw, meat patties. While they come in pre-packaged frozen bags of 36, there’s nothing quite like the smell of raw meat that has festered and boiled and seeped into the carpet of your car. A month later I still walk into the office worrying that the cadaver-like smell has permeated my hair and my clothes.
Which brings us to now.
And the lime-green spider that unceremoniously dropped and dangled from the rearview mirror in front of me like one of Charlotte’s radioactive relatives.
Wiping the green mass from my thumb, I look down and survey the damage and mentally scan my options. Put the car in drive and hope he forgets that he just had a front row at the circus. Or, salvage my pride and face the dimples head on.
Taking a deep breath, I open the door. Grabbing my bags, straightening my skirt and tossing back my hair, I simply smile back.
And keep going.