All through the night I want to strangle the 25 customers that are sitting on the floor and very much in my way so I can't put merchandise back where it belongs. The kids are destroying my last 2 hours of work as paperbacks are flung from the shelves and left abandon on the table to be used as coasters for Starbucks coffee.
The minutes tick by gruesomly slowly giving children and absent-minded adults more time to destroy my section of the store. I think about giving up, but then realize that that won't stop the people from making a mess. So I trudge on, picking up things, cleaning the surfaces, straightening the shelves...
By the time the manager gives the 30 minute warning, I'm mind numb and cannot even think as I try to alphabetize the baby section. Finally, the store is closed and the last of the trudge begins. I try to play it jolly for my sane co-workers but the odd looks and avoidance I'm getting show me that they see my madness very clearly no matter how big my smile. My depression and weariness seem to be oozing out of every one of my pores.
At last, we leave the store and I make it to the parking garage where my car waits for me all the while talking to a skunk I can smell in the distance. "Yes, you are like a ferret," I tell the invisible mammal. "I do have purple hair. Mm-hm, I drive a Toyota and I do so love pizza. I hurt my spine and neck yesterday and I've always sucked at math." The random thoughts coming out of mouth into the misting, humid Texas air are only slightly alarming to my dying conscious. Realizing I don't have the strength to stop such nonsense, I rattle on until I get in the car.
When my butt hits the seat, I nearly drop off the white cliffs of slumber instantly. Fortunately, my iPod kicks on and Tokio Hotel's "Hey You!" blares into my ears to wake me. I smile at the sound of Bill's voice and Tom's guitar rhythms and my heart is calmed a bit, but my mind was too tired to deal with the beats and melodies of the fine Kaulits twins. I switch instead to a Solitudes CD and listen to the crickets and loons sing to me as I drive. Mistake. I used to listen to this CD almost every night back in Kansas and haven't since we moved. Hearing the music for the first time in almost two years brings emotions, longings and sadnesses that I didn't know I carried with me. I close my eyes at a stop light and can see my old room and the woods behind my house. The air in Houston is damp and a bit cool: like my yard after a spring rain. Quite instantaneously, emotion over runs and spills down my cheeks in huge, hot tears.
I get home and without ceremony, get out of Edgar and go into the house. Knowing I won't find what I desire, I check the kitchen any way for a plate set aside for me waiting to be heated up and devoured. Like I thought, I find nothing. Absentmindedly, I open the refrigerator only to find--as expected--that no leftovers have been saved from whatever the evening meal had been. Ignoring my grumbling stomach, I head upstairs where the end finally begins.
I realize I need to remove my make up and wash my face and that I have the worst coffee breath ever. Without trying to make a mental check list for the evening, I throw my Skellington bag to the ground atop Mount Laundry and consider for a moment where to throw my keys. Not finding any logical solution, I toss them onto the mountain as well. Then the random undressing occurs. I don't know if I should take my stompy boots off before or after I get my pants off. Eventually, all the clothes are off and in odd piles around my room adding to the disastrous Picasso that is my bedroom floor. My skull PJ pants are soon pulled on and, needing to feel a little heroic for getting dressed for bed successfully, I throw on my Spider-Man (boys large) t-shirt.
Now the annoying part. Brushing my teeth (sometimes I can't remember when I last did....this morning? Last night?), cleaning my face (I have so many breakout spots...have I not been washing? Or am I stressing?) and trying to feel decent about myself before I go to bed. Somehow, this does not seem possible. I feel nasty and tired. Dirty and too warn down to know what to do. I'm an infant again and I don't know how to take care of myself.
Feeling an over-powering pull to the family computer (mine is quite retired), I sit down to write out my thoughts before trying to clean myself up for the night. After 20 minutes of writing out the evening's events, I somehow feel lighter and even a bit happy. I feel like I smile as I type the last words of m dismal evening, but the muscles don't flex enough to actually make a grin. I shrug the effort off and click "publish post" to end the bizarre evening and hope to get clean before sleep kidnaps me and denies me sweet dreams.