Misstep #1: Waking up
I wanna shoot the whole day down. It just got off on the wrong foot, and then it stumbled awkwardly on that wrong foot from hour to hour like a drunk in an old-timey picture show.
First, I woke up in a crap mood. I had a dream that was vaguely boring and vaguely annoying that left me feeling equal parts bored and annoyed when I woke up.
It was cloudy outside. My pajamas felt all twisty. I could have used another hour of sleep. I was thirsty for juice, and I had no juice. What smells like onion? Everything was wrong, but it was just a bunch of inconsequential little things.
It had been foretold. Even my horoscope has been warning me to just sit this month out. Mercury is retrograde and something about eclipses forming a kind of Bermuda Triangle of unremitting badness and blah blah blah. Basically, I need to lay low until everything is done eclipsing.
My actual horoscope.
But I don’t believe in astrology. I believe in science. So I said “to hell with this,” took a hot shower, put on a black dress and my black knee-high boots, pulled my hair back in a pony-tail and started my day like a champ.
Ready(ish) to face the day.
Things begin to fall apart. I got in my car and noticed I was low on gas. No problem, I thought. I’ve got this. I pulled into the Hess station and filled the tank. Paid with my debit card. While I was filling the tank, I put the debit card on the trunk of my car. I distinctly remember thinking “Don’t forget the debit card. Boy would it suck to lose your debit card. Ha ha.” (We all know where this is story is headed at this point, right?)
I got back into my car and drove in to my office. Found a space – filled the older meter with quarters. No problem! Attended a couple of meetings, got some work done, and headed back out to move my car when the 2-hour meter was up. Found a new space, parked, pulled out my wallet to pay the meter with my debit card and…IT WAS GONE OH MY GOD, YOU NEVER EXPECTED THAT, DID YOU?
I searched my car. I searched my jacket pocket. I went through every card in my wallet multiple times. I looked in every likely and unlikely place for the debit card. I knew on some level that it was gone forever — that the triangle of celestial doom had cast it’s evil hoo-doo on my debit card as punishment for my hubris.
Every stranger that passed me on Boylston Street seemed to be laughing at my woe like a Greek chorus. Taunting me.
The wind. It’s important to note that it was a particularly windy day in Copley Square. Back Bay tends to be windier than other areas of town, so on a gusty day, you can find yourself walking into the wind at a 45-degree angle, screaming — but producing no audible sound.
When I finally accepted that the debit card was gone, I fished out some quarters, fed the meter, got my little meter-sticky to attach to the inside of my driver’s side window. Just when I was affixing the meter sticky to the window, a great gust blew up from under my legs, sending my dress up, up, up and into my face, exposing my undercarriage while I struggled to hold onto the very important sticker (bought with the last of my available funds).
The universe conspired to make this happen.
I don’t understand why Marilyn Monroe seemed to enjoy the gusty up-skirt experience. I guess she didn’t have the meter to contend with, or the astrological admonitions. All I know is that I did not look or feel glamorous in any way. I hope to Christ nobody caught it on camera.
Minutes later, a plastic shopping bag came flying toward my face as I crossed Copley Square to go to my bank. I punched it away with the grim resignation of a hardened soldier.