Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Girl and the Awful Morning

The girl sat in the waiting room. She was embarrassed. She was uncomfortable.She had woken up late that morning, and then been immediately distracted by the invasion of ants in her kitchen. Rather than showering and getting ready, she instead seized her vacuum cleaner and went after the ants. She sucked up ants, crumbs, and almost lost her favorite dishcloth in her zeal to dismiss those ants from her kitchen and the world.

When she had finally stepped into the shower, she then promptly forgot all sense of time. She took her own sweet time shaving- it would have been a massacre on her legs to go any faster, considering she hadn't shaved for several... whiles. By the time she was wrapped in her towel and looking at a clock, it was eight minutes past time to go. Oops. She threw on some clothes, hastily tied her long, soaking wet hair into a knot at the base of her neck, grabbed her keys, and fled the premises. Never mind makeup! Who had time for such frivolities?

After turning left onto the main road, she realized that she honestly didn't know where she was going. She'd only been to this doctor once before, and she couldn't remember the way to get there. She snatched her phone and attempted to phone her mother. No such luck.  She tried again.

"Please leave your message at the---" She shut the machine up with a savage jab at the end call button. She continued down the road in silence. She knew that she was supposed to be on this road for a good while. It was when she turned off the long road and faced all the turns in smaller roads that presented the looming danger. And she was already late. Brilliant! she thought, feeling suddenly clever. She called her father. As the phone rang, she wondered why she had even attempted to call her mother. Not only are mothers notorious for not picking up the phone, her mother in particular had a very poor sense of direction.

"Hello?" came her father's gruff voice. He never enjoyed the phone. He said it made his ears itch.

"Daddy! Hello!" Some silence. "How are you doing today?"


"Did you work until four in the morning again?" she asked. He did that sometimes while building the house.

"No. I slept," her daddy said with a short laugh.

"Well, that explains it," she replied. "You tried something new. That's never good for rest." They shared a laugh, and then some silence. "So, Daddy... I'm on my way to a doctor's appointment."

"Do you know where you're going, or do you need me to look up a map and give you directions?" he asked immediately.

"Funny that you should ask that, Daddy," she said with a laugh, "because I don't really know how to get where I'm going."

She told him where she was and could hear him typing and pulling up Google maps on his computer. "Found where you are," her daddy said. "Where are you going?"

Where...? If she hadn't been driving down the road at a goodly pace, she would have bonked her makeup-less face against the steering wheel. She settled on a strangled gargle instead. "Actually, Daddy, I have no idea where I'm going. I forgot the address. It's the doctor I go to when I pass Hairy Man Road. Does that help?"

She heard him laughing and rubbing his hand on his face. "You," he said, "are just like Mom."

Apparently more of her mother's directionless skills had been passed on than she had originally hoped. Her father, however, had a wonderfully accurate memory and sense of direction. He had given her directions to the doctor's office once before, and was able to get her there again. As she parked, she marveled that her father really was that good. He lived in another state, and he could still get her around better than she could. Of course, he'd always just been that good. Daddy really did know everything.

She jumped out of the car, and quick-marched to the building. She called her husband to let him know she had arrived safely, and scuttled into the now-closing elevator. The man already in there turned to ask which floor she wanted, but noticed she was on the phone and hesitated- especially since she was saying "I love you, too." The man pointed at the buttons. She realized she didn't know which floor she wanted. She hadn't paused to check the map in the lobby. She timidly held up three fingers, and the kind mind obligingly pressed the button for her. She felt doubly dumb: on the phone in the elevator, and she didn't even know which floor her doctor was on. Fortunately, the man exited a floor before she did. He wouldn't know if she exited and then immediately re-entered the elevator.

The elevator doors dinged open. She stuck out her head cautiously, and completely sideways, to see if it was the right floor. It was, and there were plenty of people there to see her sideways meerkat impersonation. Lovely. She scurried to the check-in line. She was very late. The line was very slow, and she was growing even more stressed. She really disliked being late. It was rude, and embarrassing. It was finally her turn at the window.

"I'd like to check in," she said and stated her name and her doctor. After the attendant scrolled and clicked for several moments, she added in an embarrassed tone, "I'm some twenty minutes late, I'm afraid."

"Oh, hon, I don't know if the doctor will be able to see you anymore. Let me call back and see."

Well, rats, she though. Now she was holding up the long waiting line by making the nurse attendant desk helper person call back to see if the doctor would be benevolent enough to see a very tardy patient. A very embarrassed tardy patient.

"The doctor will see you, but you'll be worked in around other appointments who make it on time. Take this paper and wait for your name to be called."

She took the paper with a meek thank you, and went to sit in the waiting room. She looked around. The other women were much better groomed than she. Sure, she had been late because of taking care grooming, but it had been her legs, not her face. And no once could even see her legs under her jeans and knee-high socks. She wished that she had taken time for such frivolities as makeup. She looked like she had no reason to be late.

But she was late. She was very embarrassed. She was very uncomfortable sitting in that waiting room. So she took her notebook and pen out of her purse, and began writing.

The girl sat in the waiting room. She was embarrassed. She was uncomfortable. She had woken up late that morning...

Tashya sighed and sank into her seat. What an awful morning.