Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Unexpectedly free

If there ever was any doubt, today helps clinch the fact that I am certainly one weird duck.

So I oversleep this am to 6:30 and rush to make it in to work by 8, arriving only 3 minutes late. I punch in and dig in fast, only to be called over by my manager who asks if I have traded shifts with anyone. You guessed it, I wasn’t scheduled. I thought my day off was tomorrow.

So there I be, dressed, earings bra et al by 8 a.m. with no place to go. After a pit stop at a local Publix, I drop by Bed Bath etc. to purchase a new toaster—one which toasts on both sides simultaneously. I am unsuccessful.

By now it is 9:30. I head over to the local mall, an uncharacteristic move, only to find it doesn’t open until 10—this in the midst of a cutthroat holiday season. I hang out anyway, finally trolling the most upscale of shops, including Saks, trying to get into a festive mood.

Here I am, fresh from a bankruptcy, with what amounts to not much more than a minimum wage job, strolling through yards of merchandise well beyond my means. And here comes the strange part: It makes me feel better. It always has. I find being surrounded by abundance, seeing it, touching it and (in the case of Whole Foods, for example) smelling it calms me. It is somehow uplifting to know it’s out there. I’m not sure why.

I bought nothing but a short eggnog latte and sat reading on my nook for a while, as the din of shoppers around me slowing mounted.

I was there—but apart. And that’s fine.

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