Monday. 7:03pm. The Parking Lot at Publix
I threw the 20 pound bag of dog food over my shoulder, picked up my three bags of groceries, and made my way to the exit.
I was mentally drained. It was approaching 7pm, and I had been teaching since 9. It was the draining kind of teaching. We're nearing the end of the year so projects are coming due. My acing class was doing scene work, and one of the characters in one of the plays was addicted to drugs. So they started doing research on the effects of said drug. That was an interesting moment. Watching them Google while I pretended not to know the answers off the top of my head.
The rest of my day was spent in one on ones with various students. They were editing the scripts of the solo shows they are performing. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience, trying to find creative solutions to their theatrical challenges. But after three straight hours my brain felt like the spinny wheel of death when my Mac has trouble loading.
After the classes I walked to my car. It had started raining around 2pm, and hadn’t let up all day. On the way home I called Jaimie. She had been teaching all day too. While I had the pleasure of teaching grown people, she was in charge of four year olds. Basically she had been home for an hour and had yet to find the energy to move.
I asked her what she wanted for dinner. “I’m eating matzah,” she said. While I recognize the importance of matzah to the Jewish people, I wasn’t sure it was enough for my little Jewish princess to have for dinner. “Maybe a sub from Publix,” Jaimie suggested. “I don’t know. The children have taken my will to eat.”
I stopped by the Publix near our house. I parked as close as I could to the front door and darted inside, avoiding as much rain as possible. I got her a sub, and I picked me up some of these vegan sausages I really like. That’s when I started to remember all the other things we needed. Olive Oil. Blueberries for my oatmeal. And dog food. Dammit we need dog food.
I walked down the dog food aisle. I was not in the mood to carry a giant bag so I looked for a small one to get us through the week. The price difference between the small bag and the huge bag was so tiny. I might have been exhausted, but that did not trump my need to be frugal. I threw the big bag over shoulder and headed to the checkout.
Since I had gone to Publix, my few little things cost me 50 dollars.
I threw the 20 pound bag of dog food over my shoulder, picked up my three bags of groceries, and made my way to the door.
Of course it was still raining. I had no jacket, no umbrella, just me and my Chuck Taylors. I took a breath, psyched myself up, and made my way to the car.
I wish I could have frozen that moment in time. That Monday night. 7:03. In the parking lot of Publix. My face in a grimace, carrying dog food, avoiding puddles and the oncoming traffic. Was this a great moment? Or an annoying one? Here I was getting my new shirt wet and lugging 20 pounds over my shoulder, and, shit, my keys were in my back pocket I had to some how fish them out without getting more wet.
Yet at the same time, I was not hooked up to chemo. I felt good enough to carry a 20 pound bag while at the same time avoiding puddles. I was buying food for my dog who 13 and still very much alive. I had a sandwich for a woman who seems to want to spend her life with me despite the challenges my cells want to provide. And sure, I was mentally exhausted, but I had spent the day talking about the subject I love.
I wasn’t thinking any of those positive thoughts at the time. At 7:03 on Monday night I was going between “get me to the car” and “FML.” I certainly didn’t think those thoughts as I lugged the dog food up three flights of stairs to the apartment we don’t own. This morning, though, after three cups of coffee, I found that perspective
No matter the rain, no matter how tired I was, yesterday was a great day.
No two ways around it.