Hey friends! Doing something a little different with this post. This story originally appeared in St. Auggie Stories. I ported it to this page and did a reading of it which you can listen to above. Say hey on Instagram and let me know what you think! I can't stop writing lately and I want to share a few pieces.
5:30 Fit Camp was cardio-heavy on Monday. By 6:30, I was due for a quick Vilano swim and salt rinse. Reinstating my by gone ritual felt natural.
The shelly Atlantic was a cold, vast blue. I had it all to myself for those three minutes or so. The brisk walk back to the lot was marked by the usual anxiety that my hidden key would be found by an unwelcome stranger. Then came the sigh of relief that my charcoal Subie baby was right where I left it.
Heated seats - engaged. I could already feel the ocean salt's soothing affect on my recovering muscles as I departed Vilano westbound over the Francis and Mary Usina Bridge.
May Street pulled me onto San Marco, which morphed into US-1 North. This route is always worthwhile because of IGP's scenic highway. I had barely entered the tunnel of trees when a work call came in. A 9:45a.m. assignment was offered to me for the next day - RED FLAG-. That could easily run long and bleed into my 11a.m. call time for my main gig. Despite expressing this, I caved and accepted. I need the extra dough, after all. More on that later.
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It's Tuesday morning and the plan is to head out by 8:30 with a nice buffer for that 9:45 assignment. In that buffer are trips to tropical smoothie, McDonald's, Lowes (who doesn't carry my weed and feed of choice) and Home Depot (who does).
My lawn is going through a goofy phase as its winter rye dies off. Super fast grass-looking weeds are shooting up at record speed. Mildly alarming given that I pay for two mows a month and neither of my mowers work. Solution...? Weed killing granules via Vigoro! Hence Home Depot's appeal. I found the bag I needed quickly and hauled it over my shoulder, (feeling like a macho Spartan race runner) to the nursery's checkout line. Here is where a chance for patience presented itself...
Time was running out for a 9:30 arrival to that begrudging 9:45 gig.
"Only one customer ahead of me :-) " I thought as I approached the line with confidence. The elderly lady ahead of me was accompanied by a younger looking man, though gray through and through. She stood sheepishly on bony toes exposed by thong flip flops. She had quite the towering haul in her bright orange cart. It was becoming clear that I stepped into a complicated credit card purchase. All her items had already been scanned, but she hit a daunting road block every time she swiped her card. Each swipe was followed by at least seven keypad beeps.
"Is she keying in her phone number??" I wondered as I breathed deep...deliberate...breaths. I recalled Amy Cuddy's TEDTalk about power posing while my hands rested on my hips...proven to keep the stress hormone cortisol at bay.
The swipe, beep, sigh sequence went down about three times. I didn't know what the deal was and I didn't really care. Eventually, her transaction took and the gracious cashier handled my purchase. Quick and painless, then off I was; taking off on my shortcut through the lot which spit me out directly into the medical complex right on time: 15 minutes early at 9:30.
Here's the kicker - not only was I 15 minutes early...I was a year early! This appointment was actually scheduled for 2018. It's a strange thing to be both frustrated and relieved as a receptionist informs you that your client's appointment is in reality a full 365 days away.
Will I bill for a 30 minute drive and an erroneous request? Yes. Will I be compensated...?