Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Weekend Off

There’s a beeping down the hallway. A woman sits in the seat across from me. I look up. She’s hunched over in discomfort. A baby cries from across the room. There’s an outlet next to my chair. I plug in my laptop and write.

Well, today is the day after I have finished my time in the Senate for this session and I really don’t have the time to write this post due to a Friday deadline for a small film project. But I figure that I should jot a few details of the day for my own sanity.

To start with, this morning found me driving back home from the logging town of Aberdeen some 50 miles from home. Some of my siblings and I had spent the night with some friends after a night of city orchestra practice and I needed to get back to Olympia for a political action committee meeting.

Now, granted I obviously am interested in politics, but racing to a PAC meeting the day after leaving the Senate is not the break I was expecting.

The meeting went well, I got a communist red t-shirt, complete with white star, that encourages people to register to vote in the name of revolution, and I ended up being commissioned as a legislative district coordinator for the PAC (Faithand Ok, so far.

Then noontime emits its unseen call of the hungry and leads mom and I to investigate a small ritzy French restaurant (located in a quant downtown Olympia house). Now, I warned my date that this place was probably not open, but it was decided (and I was not part of that particular committee) that we should investigate anyway.

We get to the door, see people inside, and walk right in. Right into a private wedding party.

I shut the door behind me, turn around, and find myself standing next to the bride, who had just stopped in the middle of some sort of address. All of the well dressed guests were staring right at me in grim silence.

Not knowing what to do I did the obvious. I smiled, made a few remarks, told the groom he was definitely unworthy, and took a sip of the champaign.

Actually, what I did was duck into the next room, nervously chatted with the chef (who doubles as the Senate chef during session), promised to come back, and then tripped over the many large gift bags that littered the doorway on my way out.

I should have made the speech.

Then we get to a restaurant for lunch. Peace at last. We are seated. Mom is dismayed that there is no seating with a view. I notice that I am squeezing lemon juice onto the table, obviously missing my water. “Excuse me sir, those people left their table over there by the window, could we move?” The waiter shrugged in the affirmative.

Thinking that we were leaving over the fact that mom’s side salad (an item not on the menu but demanded) was smaller than a regular salad, our waitress cries loudly, “What’s wrong? Are you leaving?” My upheld lunch menu disguises my identity as I pass by to our new table.

Then, an urgent call comes from HQ. Little sister is in need of a black shirt for the symphony concert tomorrow night. Thus, after we finish our lunch, we head to the place that has just a little bit of everything…Value Village.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my pride does not prevent me from going to a thrift shop every now and then or buying used goods, but some places ought never to frequented. And my visit reminded me why. All of the scary people!

I try to keep mom focused on the single task at hand as we pass a vastly overweight youth trying to keep a plastic Darth Vader strapped to his face. I glance at the Men’s section. Used suspenders, frayed paper binders, and 70 year old ties line the wall. An employee staggers past as he bellows to a co-worker that they ought to stamp their time card differently. He then staggers away.

Finally we return home. Only to find that one of my siblings had crashed his bike and torn the muscles in his shoulder, the very same shoulder with which he was scheduled to use while playing cello in the Aberdeen symphony.

So off he and I go to ER.

As the sun goes down and my laptop monitor goes up, I glance over at a couple entering the ER reception area. The wife staggers towards the desk as her husband looks around and actually saunters into the men’s restroom. “I’m in labor!” the woman bellows as she walks towards the wheel chair sitting in front of me. The shocked receptionist grabs for the PA microphone and soon the woman is carted away.

The husband then returns to the scene, confused as to where his previously easy to track wife had disappeared to. As his dragging feet softly faded down the hall I wonder how long I'd have to wait for the doctors to yank by brothers arm straight again.

There’s a beeping down the hallway. The woman sitting in front of me remains mostly motionless and hunched over. A tired baby cries once again from across the room. I glance at the outlet next to my chair and unplug my laptop. While leading Stephen, arm now in a sling, back to the truck I hope aloud that my day had run out of adventures.


thevaguequeen said...

Sounds like quite the day Daniel. :)

Anonymous said...

This post was an emotional and psychological rollercoaster. Yikes... the beginning is actually the end, the woman just had a baby, you ruined a couple's first day of married life?

That is more craziness than I have experienced in a lifetime. Well done.