PoeticaL
cluttering the net since 2001

a day in my life yesterday

Tuesday, Jul. 09, 2002
my return email to the Army soldier serving in Afghanistan

A typical day….

6:30 a.m. somewhere in Florida an alarm clock squeaks its presence into the day. A tired hand gropes across an antique dresser desperately seeking Susan? No not Susan but rather the snoozing button. Yeah that’s right, snoozing. One quick jab in the dark and silence wraps it’s pretty little blanketed arms around a sleeping woman again.

9 minutes later the nerve-wracking noise is back and said woman realizes she must awaken her tired limbs and begin her day. She slowly rises from her bed and stumbles across the rather cool white floor tiles to the bathroom where she sits down and releases an evening’s worth of water and wipes sleepiness from her eyes. She then pulls off her cotton pajamas and slides the shower curtain to the side and leans over in the darkened room and turns the water on trying not to wake up fully just to adjust the temperature of the water to the perfect degree. When it’s at the right temperature she steps inside pulling the cloth curtain across the opening and stands still under the pouring water. She again gropes for the soap.

Today it is new soap that was on sale at Bath and Body and she ponders whether paying $2.00 for soap is worth it when she mostly showers in the morning half asleep. But quickly realizes that Ivory soap is far more bubbly and this apple stuff isn’t doing the trick so she quickly rushes out of the shower across the tiles again causing a shower over spray and wet footsteps in her wake and then runs back to the shower with a brand new bar of Ivory in tow. She quickly washes her hair and dumps a handful of conditioner in her longish dirty brown colored hair trying not to think about the strand of gray that whisked it’s way into view the day before in the sunshine through her sunroof. Quickly finishing her shower and drying off she wraps the towel around her body and scampers into her son’s bedroom.

Lights on.

Pulling blankets off.

“get up BUCKY get up!”

a naked child who refuses to wear anything to bed quickly grabs for his blankets and groans at the bright light. She does an about face and goes into the kitchen were she turns on her expresso maker and grabs some juice and a vitamin intermittently drying her hair with the towel. She rushes into her bedroom to ponder her closet in the dark. She grabs the most comfortable clothing she can find. Today it is a black shirt with a drawstring/shoelace adornment on the front center and levi jeans. She crawls on the floor of the closet towards the back looking for her other black leather sandal. It’s in there somewhere.

“Ahhh got it!”

She throws her wet towel on the floor. Years of a mother telling her this was bad for the carpeting and just bad behavior has caused a rebel attitude towards wet towels kissing floors. She slides her legs into her jeans feeling the cool cotton. Wait she remembers she forgot her panties. Pulls the pants off in frustration and pulls a pair of cotton thongs up over her thighs and then again the jeans. She digs in the drawer for her favorite black bra and adjusts the clasp in the back. Yanks her shirt over her wet hair and shakes her hair loose from the collar.

She then walks back past her son’s bedroom to go back into the bathroom and yells over her shoulder to her son “I mean it, you have to get up NOW!” She sprays some gel into her hair and grabs her blow dryer and dances around the bathroom trying to wake up and dry her hair at the same time. She sings to the radio on in her bedroom. “It’s getting hot in here so take off all your clothes. Hot in here….so hot in here..” (I hesitated to type this but that was the song playing and not a cheesy reference to anything else…just reality screams to me to type reality so lets go with it..and get back to the day)

She quickly runs a curling iron through 3 chunky sections of her hair to smooth things down a little and a touch of makeup, moisturizer and eyeliner. Always need the eyeliner. Can’t have blue eyes washing out into flesh with no definition. Quickly buckling her shoes she runs out to the kitchen to pour her espresso and froth some hot milk. She yells out towards the direction she hopes her son is in coming back in from the utility room shower where he likes to take his shower to be out of her way. He rushes past her wrapped up in a towel too big for his small body.

She swallows back a mouthful of hot sweet coffee and turns her computer on. Now for one quick check of the email and a half hour of time to fully wake up with her coffee at the computer screen. Today it’s having an error whereby all her icons are huge and she changes her display settings ten times before windows decides to cooperate. It is mornings like these that she hates Mr. Gates.

Lots of spam, no no I do not have a balding problem nor do I need viagra! (she forwards those to husband with a wicked smile) There are lots of quick notes from pals. A few signatures in the guestbook and ahhh an email from Afghanistan. She feels a little smile crawl across her face and wonders where that nice feeling snuck up on her from. She leans back in her chair while her email comes into view. Mmmm Its so nice to meet someone new to know and find out about and learn new things through.

And then her son is back over her shoulder asking for money for a field trip at day camp and where are his shoes and which back pack will he fit his walkman into? She spouts off answers like a ticker tape news story. She stands up and lets the dogs outside for one last leak. She stares out into the sky wondering what the sky is like where he is. So far away. Why is she still thinking of him? She turned her computer off already! Hmmm

She bundles her son into her car and turns on her radio flipping through the channels trying to find the mood she’s in inside a song some dj might just be playing on the radio. She settles on a bad Juice Newton song because her hands are tired of surfing and besides she likes to stop on the song that causes her son to flinch and say, “ohhh mooom”. She never gets used to that word. Mom. That was a word she used for someone else a long time ago. How did she get that name? Sometimes it still feels foreign after all these years.

Before she knows it she’s dropping her son off at day-camp watching his hair blow in the breeze. He’s gotten so big so fast. She yells out to him “I love you.” He says “I love you more” She says, “I love you most.” To which he replies with triumph, “I love you MORE than MOST!” “I won I won!” Another few years and he’ll be driving. She drives around the rec parks curving parking lot and then back out on the highway headed towards work.

Pit stop at 7-11 to load up on her water intake for the day. Never enough water. 3 bottles for backup and a pack of mints later she’s back in the car for the remainder of the short trek back into work.

Back at work after a week off. The desk the same. The computer staring at her at the same angle as always. A quick check at her diary to see if anyone commented on recent events and then opening her work email to a flood of excess inventory files and a ton of nonsense emails about things that just don’t interest nor matter to her. She looks at her watch. A few minutes to go. She walks back outside leisurely and watches the cars go up the highway. Lost in thought.

Back in to her desk she spends a rather uneventful day doing mundane secretarial tasks over and over again with delft and a surety that comes with too many years of multi-tasking and faxing and “Good Morning thank you for calling…yes one moment please…”

She gets some bad news today. A friend of hers wrecked his motorcycle while on vacation in California. He’s got some serious injuries so while she’s on lunch she calls his cell phone and speaks to him quickly. She used to work with him daily and they have a unique bond. He’s married and she stops to think about his wife who must be very worried about all of these events. The conversation while brief says it all…

“Hey don’t do that again.” – her

“um..ok” – him

“promise?” – her

“yeah I promise” – him

“are you ok?” – her

“yeah there’ll be lots of therapy but I’m ok” – him

“ya know I love you right?” – her

“yeah I know” – him

“I’m just glad I could tell you that” – her (crying briefly at the relief)

“I love you too” – him

How quickly someone’s life can almost be taken away makes her sit for a few minutes looking out across the parking lot at the water fountain systematically spitting out water in a large spiral effect. There’s a pretty bench there. No one ever sits there. She says to herself that one day she’ll go sit there. But she’s said that before.

Finally 5:30 p.m. rolls around. She gets in her car. Arranges her backpack on the passenger seat and turns her radio on and listens this time to her new CD. “Our Lady Peace” A CD she only paid $10 for on sale. She likes this CD and she slowly feels the tension of another day in a job she wonders about slipping away. Her son has Tae Kwon Doe class tonight with his father so she drives home at a regular pace. The sun is still bright in the sky.

She arrives home. Kicks off her sandals and throws herself across the bed under the fan. The house is muggy. It’s another typical Florida afternoon. She closes her computer tired eyes and feels the relief clear through to the back of her mind.

Then she goes into the bathroom to brush her teeth, wash her makeup off of her face. She straightens the towels. Puts the morning’s mess away. Back in the bedroom she pulls off her Levis and throws them in the clothes hamper. She slides into some cotton shorts. Off goes the shirt and she slides on a cool white cotton soft tee. Stretches out her arms and neck and sighs.

She walks back into the kitchen and turns on her dreaded workout tape. Why isn’t it just sexy to have and keep a fat ass. Why can’t this be a prized possession that all mankind seeks? She sighs. Pushes her “walking off the Pounds” tape into the VCR. While the beginning credits roll she gets a giant glass of water from the water cooler and lets the dogs outside right after they jump all over her arms and legs and clean white shirt.

“Nikki! Webster! Get down!”

But she loves them all the same.

35 minutes in front of the TV walking in place going nowhere listening to the same girl give the same rhetoric about the same workout that she does at least 3 times a week in-between the other version. She then slugs down the huge glass of water while the air conditioning finally kicks in full blast and the house cools off in the late afternoon early evening

Tonight she drives around the corner to get a veggie sub from Subway. She’s home alone, it’s Tae Kwon Doe night. She turns her computer on to check things out. Finishes drinking her water and decides it’s time to write about her day. She decided to do that to return the favor to a newfound friend. She reads through his day again. Reads his email again. Smiles again.

Opens her word and starts to type. Somewhere in the middle he comes online. They have their first chat. That starts with “hey are you there?” includes “I gotta ask you to do something for me so we can be friends and I can not be afraid to be that. Tell someone here in the US...your mom or someone to contact me if something happens to you. Can you do that?” To which he says “sure...I don't see a problem with that”, and goes on to end with “TO BE CONTINUED”

She then flips back to her word document with a much bigger smile on her face and a resolve that even if it takes her until 2 a.m. she will finish her day on a high note and then hit send…. Some days begin. Some days make it midway. Some days create memories. Some days give you smiles that never end. I don’t know what she did after she left me. Me the computer. Because I can’t see her now. She went into her bedroom to sleep. I hear her softly breathing. Yeah I just can faintly hear her breathing. No…I didn’t say snoring. She’s just breathing. Maybe she’s thinking about the sky 7,000 miles away. She stops for a minute or two to remember how he says “To be Continued” and leaves out the dreaded words “The End” she hates in fairy tales. Hmmm…..

Goodnight.

Editors note: A few things that might have been better edited….Of course she ate lunch. Tuna salad, water and some yogurt. She also managed to go pee a few times. Make a few phone calls throughout the day at work and got gas in her car on her way home and straightened up the house, did some dishes, wrote her things in her notebook (that's a long story in itself), cleaned the espresso maker and straightened her desk between putting on lotion etc., and of course she later turned her computer off….

2:19 a.m. ::
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