One of Those Days

It wasn’t a day that started well, beginning with the side-effects of a sleepless night, finding it difficult to get moving in the morning. Starting the day feeling like that simply compounds issue after issue; lethargy impacts everything. The early morning phone meeting simply doesn’t happen; the alarm must have sounded, but it seems I can’t remember switching it off. Staggering around the bathroom, time and time again; a headache coming on, taking some painkillers for it, returning back to the bed, balancing precariously on the edge, the day is beginning to get warm, no covers. Uncomfortable. Uneasy. Unsettled. Reaching out for confirmation, for the morning touches, the kisses. Watching the hands of the clock move around, needing to make a move, to start the day while there is still some day left. Going into the front room, the living room, the home office, the dog’s domain, the cat’s cradle, the multipurpose does-everything room; last night’s clutter still there, computer suspiciously quiet, silent, non-functioning.

It was impossible to resolve at first; a machine that would not work, a human barely capable of working. A dim response; a brief flicker of the orange battery low light, and then nothing. Following cables, from the back of the machine, to the power brick, to the wall, the power light on the brick not illuminated. The brick was hot; very hot, and beeping, a quiet, insistent, high-frequency beep, an electrocardiogram of electronics, begging for merciful release. Unplugged. Experiments followed; exchanging plugs and sockets, trying all permutations, all combinations; seeing which inspired the flicker of life, seeing which row of the matrix would function, seeing which column of the matrix never would, debugging the hardware problem, thinking reasonably, logically, laterally, with eyes half-open. Inspecting the evidence more closely; teeth marks down the length of the cable, feline; the culprit stealthily attempting to hide in the corner, pretending to feast on a bowl already emptied. Yet again, as on so many occasions before, the tool necessary to work rendered useless by a failure of a seemingly-insignificant, often-forgotten part; left stranded, beached, without power. A search was undertaken; a search for a replacement. The best price would be available, only minutes away, but would have to be ordered; one week, perhaps even two. Spreading the net, wider and wider, finding more expensive alternatives, available sooner, sooner but not soon enough, not now. A twenty-minute car ride away, for twenty dollars more, for resolution today; no other choice. Struggling into street clothes; still not properly dressed, setting off on the drive, out on a mission, a quest.

The vehicle lumbered out westward along the highway, between fields of produce, fertilized, fuming, filling the air with a putrid scent. How would something so gloriously sweet emerge from such an earthy cradle? The afternoon heat began to build up; leaving our breezy valley behind, leaving behind the patron saint of the married, heading for the order of poor ladies, more concrete, more highways, warmer, hotter, air conditioning not functioning too well, personal moods, attitudes, turning more and more grumpy with every passing moment. parking, pushing towards the store with its climate control. The sliding doors beckoned, offering at least some temporary respite from the heat, wandering up the aisles, trying to locate the replacement part without attracting the attention of the oh-so-helpful canihelpyous; not today please, not today. Interaction with other humans strictly limited to a bare minimum; hoping to escape, quickly, have the necessary funds surgically extracted from the bank account, and leave. The desired resolution was never available; at first bemused, and then somewhat irate, that the product on the shelves was there, but at a price I was unwilling to pay, not the discounted price I had seen myself barely half an hour before. A canihelpyou hovered in the background, ready to be, surely, particularly unhelpful. “Can I help you?” he asked, predictably. I explained what I had seen, and wondered immediately how many others there had been, walked through this store, and charged the incorrect price. The assistant raised himself out of the realm of regular canihelpyou’s; looked up the price, corrected it, charged me accordingly, deserved a first name and a recommendation from me to his store manager when I called the store back a few minutes later. Thank you, Billy.

Comfort next; comfort for a day with a hole punched right through it; a day where nothing would get done because of a technical hitch; a processing glitch. The video gamers’ temple beckoned; give me your tired, your poor, your hopelessly addicted, yearning for pre-owned titles. With bizarre addict’s logic, the money I’d “saved” (not spent less) would be placed on the temple altar; walls, shelves, extending, parallel lines, seemingly to infinity, an impressive selection, perhaps it would be here, that title I’d long been looking for. Indeed it was, right there, something to take the edge off an edgy day, something to fiddle with along with comfort food for lunch; some way to get some fruit from the day before returning home, checking the replacement part, too late for today’s labors, something to explain tomorrow during the status report. Being without power would surely be considered a roadblock. Roses to tend to, to water; their soil dry, those recently-transplanted into the front yard in shock, in dire need of some TLC. Those in the back, stretching for height, for light, competing with each other, flowering seven feet off the ground. Taking a picture on tiptoes.

Chili for dinner. The evening air, chilly too. Still unwashed. Still unshaven. But, at least soon, you would be coming home.

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About darlingman1970

Born in the UK and a graduate in mathematics from Cambridge University, Chris Nash has followed a career in software engineering which he continued after moving the United States in 1996 and now brings him to California in 2010. However, Chris does not want to be considered as merely a code monkey, and has always been interested in writing; in areas as diverse as factual technical manuals all the way through to fiction. An avid reader, Chris is a fan particularly of mystery novels and enjoys above all the works of Agatha Christie and David Hewson. Chris has recently gone through some significant life changes which, at the moment, he is considering as the basis for a forthcoming novel and as food for thought on his blog. He manages to couple his loves of writing and technology and is particularly interested in how internet innovations have an impact on the writing and promotional process. Chris is a firm supporter of Creative Commons and other 'open' initiatives and believes strongly that such distribution mechanisms are the "right" way to handle intellectual property in an evolving digital world. Chris is a keen Nintendo DS and Wii player in his spare time, and is currently happily attached, living in the Central Coast area of California. Find him on Twitter as @darlingman1970. Don't ask him how old he is.
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One Response to One of Those Days

  1. Anonymous says:

    A beautifully descriptive rendition of an off-kilter Monday….

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