Friday, January 22, 2016

Incessant Divagation

by Rick Jones, Husband of the Minister's Wife

I hate making tough decisions in the morning. For instance:

I awakened this morning from an awful dream. It featured me at a young age, first day at an “entry-level” job, with a supervisor who got his job because he's the owner's nephew. He knows little about how to do his job, or mine, and knows even less about personal hygiene. He does knows a plethora of obscenities, and uses at least three of them in every sentence as he expresses his displeasure concerning a mistake which [1] I didn't make and [2] cost the company about $1.25, which is less than the amount I'll be paid for the time I spend listening to his onion-breath-saturated tirade.

Suddenly, I hear the lunch buzzer. It sounds suspiciously like my alarm clock. I wake up sweating, tense, and frustrated by the fact that I didn't get to tell off the supervisor before the dream ended.

I open an eye. I'm not sure which one, but it hurts, even though the room seems darker than it should. Opening the other eye doesn't help. That probably means an overcast day, with a storm on the way. Great.

After determining, with difficulty, which direction is up, I untangle my feet from the sheet and swing into a sitting position. My foot hits the floor, which feels damp. Did I forget to take the dog out before going to bed? No time to think about it – my bladder operates on a gravity switch, and transitioning from a horizontal position to sitting triggers the “gung-ho to GO” function, which includes a timer based on seconds, not minutes. I leap up and, taxing my memory, vaguely recall the location of the bathroom.

Why can't my sense of balance kick in as quickly as my bladder? Lurching across the dark bedroom allows the little toe on my right foot to demonstrate its purpose in the grand scheme of the universe: locating chair legs in the dark. That's one toenail I won't have to trim today, since I think it was torn off in the collision. The little toe now throbs like it's ballooning to the size of the big toe. I grumble, “Znnumfumviljk”, quoting a character I saw in a movie -- a zombie just after its jaw was blown off by a shotgun.

But I'm not walking like the undead; I take two hops to the left, which gives my knee a chance to steal the spotlight from the toe by presenting a reenactment of a car being rammed by a freight train, starring itself and the knob of a dresser drawer. The room is no longer dark I see flashes of light caused by the pain. “Kjlivmufmunnz”, I groan, quoting no one, but expressing a thought that I really shouldn't translate into English.

I am tempted to collapse, but my bladder urges me on, its timer counting rapidly toward the moment when “tick tick tick” will switch to “drip drip drip”. I continue my trek, reeling like a drunken sailor on a warped deck during a typhoon. As I reach the bathroom, I feel a moment of envy for the zombie's lack of tactile sensation.

Whoa! That's cold! Still, I utter a prayer of gratitude for the toilet seat, which takes the weight off of my knee and foot. As I lessen the weight in my bladder, I count my toes to be sure the toenail was all I lost. Then I clean the dog's morning gift from my foot with a wet cloth. Whoa! That's cold!

Now, I'm truly awake. I look at the clock in the bathroom and realize that it's not dark because the sky is overcast. It's dark because the noise I thought came from the alarm clock was actually just a noise in the dream. I woke up two hours before the alarm is set to sound!

So now I have to choose. Do I stay up and face the day with significantly less sleep than I usually get? Or do I go to bed and risk going through all of this again in two hours?

I hate making tough decisions in the morning.

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