So last night I decide to go out grocery shopping. I get in my car and I'm driving. Driving, driving. All of a sudden, I see an animal in the middle of the road. It's dead already so I decide to do the ol' split rather than the ol' swerve. Much to my chagrin - and no, I didn't hit it again - as I'm closing in on it I realize it's a little dog. Ugh. A little brown dog with a blue and white collar. Ugh, ugh.
Of course, I have to go back and make sure it's dead so I go around the block (which is anything but a block because I live out in the middle of Wherethehellisthat) and come back to the spot. However, this time, there is someone riding my ass so I can't stop. Over the dog again.
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. The quick red subaru drives over the dead dog.
Turn around and go back. No one there this time but I can't stop. I'm chicken. I don't want to pick the dead dog off the road. What if the owners think I'm the one who ran it over? I'll tell them I found him already dead but they won't believe me.
Turn around again.
Where's the dog? Someone less cowardly already picked him up to deliver him to his heartbroken owners. They'll probably say they saw a red subaru driving back and forth very guiltily.
Off to the grocery store.
Tonight is a very special night at the grocery store indeed for they are having a big sale on meat. All the meat you can fit into a shopping bag is a whopping 20% off. Unfortunately, the events of the trip to the store still weigh heavily on my mind and, therefore, I cannot fill my shopping bag full of meat. Everything I pick up reminds my of the little brown dog. London broil of little brown dog. Top round roast of little brown dog. Spare ribs of little brown dog. I decide to buy some chicken and bacon. I buy a lot of chicken and bacon so I can feel like I got a good deal.
After the grocery store, I head to Pizza Hut because it is already 8:30 pm and my family hasn't eaten yet. I place my order and get back in the car to wait out the 20 minutes.
I take a little drive but eventually find my way back to the Pizza Hut parking lot well before the 20 minutes has passed.
Radio, radio, radio. I finally settle on public radio, letting the etheral sounds of an English carol wash over me. There is the long, low drone that anchors the song. The rolling penny whistle that fills in the middle. And above it all floats this amazing voice, pure and beautiful. All of this juxtaposed with the very offensive backlit lights of Buddy's New York Bagel Factory (closed for the evening) stabbing me in the eyeballs.
As I sat trying to balance the two in my mind, a car pulled into a parking spot in front of me. It was a new sedan of reliable make and trendy color. A young couple exited the car and headed toward the restaurant (using terms liberally here). The young man, with baseball cap askew, strutted across the parking lot in a manner very reminiscent of Vanilla Ice. And as Vanilla Ice, this young man was about as black as my Irish Catholic ass.
I'm not sure what came over me at that point. Surely it was the trauma of the earlier events with the dog but, at that moment, with Emma Christian's voice in my ear and Buddy's lights in my eyes, I knew I had to get out of there.
I raced into Pizza Hut and, thankfully, the pizzas were ready to go. Tossing the pizzas onto the seat beside me, I gunned the engine and threw the car into gear. Sideways into the road - hold the pizzas, hold the pizzas - I went through the gears a la dragracer and prepared myself to run the gauntlet.
Long John Silver's. Radio Shack. Nathan's Furniture. Arby's. West End Ford. Donnut Connection. McDonald's. Friendly's.
The sign's raced past in a bazillion kilowatt blur.
Taco Bell. Econo Lodge. Turkey Hill. Ollie's Discount Outlet. THE MALL.
Finally, on my two right wheels, I careened onto the entrance ramp and then into the safety of the relative darkness of the interstate. Heart rate back to normal. "We think she's going to make it."
What the hell was all that? Why does that happen to me? It's like sensory overload or something. I don't do well in the world sometimes.