Living in Plan Z

Last night, the plan had been to wake up early this morning. Well, actually before that the plan had been to buy some last minute Halloween supplies and do some laundry. I should know better than to expect to go with plan A.

I had arrived home last night to see a note from my landlord on the door. He was stopping by today to check the smoke alarms. He was being considerate by letting me know. He didn’t want to stop by while I was sleeping, just in case I was working an odd shift.

I called back and let him know that I am on day shift this week and next and that he could enter while I was gone.

Then I walked up the stairs and saw the mess. I had forgotten about that. I have not had much of a chance to clean. The rotating schedule saps my energy. I get lazy and my apartment becomes cluttered.

That was an understatement.

It was not dirty by any stretch of the imagination. I wash dishes. Clean sinks, stoves, bathtubs, and toilets. I disinfect. I dust. I change the kitty litter. But organization is another matter. I just do not always have the energy to do that.

So my apartment continually looks like the earth swallowed stores filled with my favorite hobbies and vomited them into my apartment. Books. Sheet music. Stringed instruments. Strings. Cookbooks. Comic books. Magazines. They cover every possible square inch of my apartment. My loveseat had the bills I needed to pay and my checkbook strewn across it. Stubs of paid bills spilled off the seat and onto the floor. Laundry baskets of clothes to take to the laundromat were in the center of the room, awaiting my next trip.

It was a bit of a mess.

And because I had been busy, there were a few dishes in the sink awaiting washing. Not many. Maybe fifteen minutes of work tops. And a good chunk of that was because it takes time for the water to warm.

Lots to do. And I was pressed for time. And exhausted. I organized the piles. I washed the dishes. I made a plan. And then I got distracted by talking to family and watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. And then by You’re Elected, Charlie Brown. And then I could not drag myself off the loveseat until it was time for bed. D’oh!

Oh, well. I would wake up early! No problem. I set my alarm for an hour early. I took a painkiller for the slight headache I could feel developing, and I went to bed. I double checked that the light was on, verifying that the alarm had been set. I double checked the time it was to go off – 5:30am. No problem.

Unfortunately, I did not look closely enough at the label of the container I had opened. I did not grab the usual painkiller. I grabbed the PM version.

I do not remember shutting off the alarm, but I must have. When I rolled over and looked at the time, it was 7am.

7am?! I usually am finishing getting dressed then and almost ready to leave! Adrenaline kicked in and I was out of bed in a flash.

I filled two garbage bags with papers that I no longer needed. I hastily moved the laundry into the bedroom, the books onto shelves, the comics into boxes, and the music into files. I put the banjo behind the loveseat and the ukulele and the guitar into the closet. I wrote a check for November’s rent, put it in an envelope, and taped it to the inside of the door so that when the landlord left, he would see it and have it a day early.

I looked at the time. 7:45am. Darn it! It takes at least fifteen minutes to get to work on the best of days and I was supposed to be there at 8am. There was no way. I hadn’t even washed and changed yet!

Eli watched me through all of this. He was nice enough to stay out of my way, but you could tell that he wanted attention. He sat on the sofa and purred whenever I came near him, but otherwise stayed still. Poor cat. At least with the automatic feeder he would not be hungry. I made a mental note to play with him more as soon as I got home.

I took the fasted shower since college, then I grabbed a short sleeved black t-shirt and a long sleeved red one. I pulled on some black jeans. Black shirt first. Then red. Made sure that the black was showing through the top. Then, the final touch, my Star Trek Engineering badge. Perfect. I had wanted to try to put on zombie makeup or something, but no time. 7:55am! Ack!

Fifteen minutes later, I was not only at work, but had found one of the closest possible parking spots. Still not sure how that happened. Maybe working at a particle accelerator for so long has given me hidden powers over the time-space continuum. Or perhaps Eli took pity upon me and granted me luck. More likely I broke several laws and was not spotted by local law enforcement.

The plan for tonight? Stop at the grocery after work and grab a bag of candy just in case plan A for the Trick or Treaters is not sufficient. You see, I bought about forty comics to give away, but what if:

  • the kids (or parents) don’t like them, or
  • I run out?!

I’d better have a backup plan.

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