Just One of Those Days
By: Kathy


Have you ever had one of those days? You know the ones I'm talking about. Just a completely lousy, rotten, horrible day that went wrong from the moment you got out of bed. Well, I had one of those days. Actually, it was worse 'cause mine started even before I got out of bed.

I was lying there, having the most incredible dream that I've had in a long time. I mean, one of those dreams where everything is just so perfect that even as you're having it, you know it's a dream. But even though you subconsciously know it isn't real, you don't really give a shit because it's just too damn good to care. Anyway, I'm sitting in Wonderburger having the triple-decker delight with an order of fries, an order or onion rings and a large chocolate shake. Just the smell alone was making my mouth water. So there I was with my hands wrapped around heaven on a bun, getting ready to sink my teeth into pure delight when the alarm clock goes off.

Well, instead of the taste of bliss that I was expecting, I wake up with the rank taste of last night's tofu surprise in my mouth. No matter how many times I brush my teeth, I'm always stuck with that delightful sensory treat for days. I've threatened, I've pleaded, hell, I've even tried bribes but Sandburg still insists on making that crap at least once a month. He says I need it to cleanse my palate and purge my system of all the chemicals and preservatives I pollute my body with whenever he's not around to monitor me. It's not like I can tell him no. He pulls out that damn puppy dog eyes routine and I fall for it every time. Damn, when did I get to be such a pushover?

Anyway, I drag myself out of bed only to immediately plop back down when pain explodes in my foot. I look down and expect to see a bloody stump. What I find is one of those damn cedar chips stuck to my foot. I swear; I don't know why the kid won't just use the spray. I manage to pry the hunk of wood off of my foot, feels like the damn thing is imbedded in there or something, and then I toss it in the trash can. Irritating things always seem to wind up all over the loft. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the kid hides them all over the place just to torture me. Some kind of sensory hide and seek game to see if I can sniff 'em out or something.

I dial down the throbbing in my foot and finally manage to get out of bed on my second attempt. Sandburg is already gone, I know because the first thing I do every morning is tune into his vitals. Yeah, it's partly because I want to make sure the kid is all right, though I'd never tell him that. But it's mainly so that I can be prepared. After that morning when I came downstairs only to have a flannel covered tornado crash into me and knock me on my ass, I always try to pin down his location before I venture downstairs. It's amazing he hasn't broken something. He rushes around here in the mornings, never paying any attention to where he's going, running late and hurrying to get ready. Hey, I was a Ranger, I know I have to stay alert if I want to avoid any more surprise attacks. Fortunately, I won't have to perform any evasive maneuvers this morning.

So I hobble into the kitchen and open the fridge. I can actually fix eggs and not hear the cholesterol lecture. But when I open the door, I'm met with one jar of olives, a stick of butter and some unrecognizable substance in one of Sandburg's Tupperware bowls. I don't even want to try to identify what kind of science experiment he's got growing in there. Resigned to no breakfast, I shut the door and head over to the coffeepot. To say that I was just a little bit upset when said coffeepot was empty would be an understatement. Hell, I never liked that thing anyway. I will have to remember to pick up a new coffee maker sometime today though.

I'm standing there cursing the kid for not going to the store when I spot a piece of paper lying on the counter. I'm tempted to just ignore it but I know it'd just bug me all day if I did. Turns out it's a note reminding me that it's my turn to go to the store. And, of course, asking me to pick up a few more things for him as long as I'm out. Well, there goes my day off. I had planned on relaxing, maybe going to the gym for a workout and then fixing that wobble on Sandburg's desk. Ordinarily, I wouldn't even attempt to venture into the kid's den but I was sick of listening to him complain about it. I mean, it's not like he even uses the thing that much. Most of the time he grades papers out in the living room while we're sitting around watching TV. But there are times when he does use it and I know that the wobble does bother him. Hell, it's not like I had anything else to do anyway. I needed something to do. Who am I kidding? I like doing stuff like that for the kid. But that doesn't mean that I won't complain and bitch about having to do it.

With my day planned, I head over to the bathroom. I quickly find out that my roommate didn't leave all that long ago when I find myself standing underneath a spray of cold water, which is currently lapping against my ankles since the drain apparently isn't working right. After taking the quickest shower of my life, I dry off and pull on some clothes. Of course, I can't leave the tub like it is so I clean out the drain. I can't help but grimace as I pull out the wad of long, dark, curly hair. I'm tempted to take it in and show it around the station. Maybe then I wouldn't have to constantly hear the women, and quite a few of the men, talk about Sandburg's luxurious, beautiful hair and how they'd love to run their fingers through it. Yeah, try running your fingers through this mess and then we'll see if you feel the same way.

***

God, I hate groceries stores. If you ask me, they should be ones for people with kids and ones for people without kids. If I hear one more kid whining, I'm going to start crying myself. I'm standing in the produce aisle picking up some of that weird fruit Sandburg likes. The woman in front of me is squeezing and thumping everything in sight. Just pick something and move why don't you? I've had enough of this. I ignore the evil look she gives me as I reach past her and grab Sandburg's stuff. Then, of course, there's none of those plastic bags on the roller. I spot someone wearing one of those vest things and grabbed a hold of him. I ask him about the bags and he looks at me like I've grown another head or something. So, I helpfully point towards the empty roller and then the fruit. Finally, it's like a light bulb goes off and the guy nods then takes off. I wait around for a while but he doesn't come back. I leave my cart where it is and walk over to get a box of Zip-Loc bags. As I walk back to my cart, I tear the box open. There, problem solved. Sandburg's fruit is now safely enclosed inside one of the bags. I scout the rest of the produce and quickly fill up the remainder of the bags before taking off down the aisle.

I finally reach the checkout stand and wouldn't you know it, the woman in front of me pulls out a big old wad of coupons. Every time the checker rings something up, the woman says that she has a coupon. So the girl has to void the entry and run it though again. The woman has a kid with her. He's sitting in the seat, smiling at me while he kicks the crap out of my cart. I try to back up some only to have something slam into my ass. I look behind me and, sure enough, the woman from the produce aisle is standing there smiling at me.

***

After a quick trip to the loft to unload and put away the groceries, I head for Home Depot. Now I would have stopped last night after work but I had Sandburg with me and I didn't want to hear another lecture about how the depth of a man's love of power tools relates to the size of certain parts of his anatomy. Hell, last time I dragged Sandburg here he nearly got beaten to a pulp. There was a guy checking out the Black & Decker's and Sandburg starts spouting off some theory about the correlation between the size of a man's drill and the size of his... well... his drill. Hell, I ended up with a black eye and an arrest. After all that, I went off and forgot the damn screwdriver I went there to get in the first place.

I'm in the store, happily browsing the aisles of shiny, new tools; but everywhere I go, the salespeople are pointing and staring. Yeah, like they're not going to remember my last visit here. They're probably wondering where my 'little friend' is today. Not that he was much help last time. There I was, about to get an up close and personal demonstration of that drill since the guy was determined to ventilate my skull with it, and all the while my roommate is making a date with one of the clerks. I can't really blame him though. Hell, if I hadn't been busy trying to stop that guy from performing some amateur surgery on me, I would have asked her out myself.

I ignore the stares and whispers but they totally ruin the whole experience for me. So instead of the usual two hours, it only takes me about fifteen minutes to get what I need. While I'm standing in line, I notice the guy in front of me has an electric sander. I give it an appreciative look and decide to pick up one the next time I get up the nerve to show my face in here again.

Just as I reach the register, a guy wearing a mask runs into the store and waves a gun in the air. I can't help but groan as I wonder why this idiot picks today to rob a hardware store of all places. He's running from register to register demanding money. To quote my partner, I'm so not in the mood to deal with this right now. There's some cans of hand cleanser on display beside me so, in a good imitation of Sandburg, I pick one up and chuck it at the guy. It hits its target, smacking the guy right in the middle of the forehead. He drops to the floor unconscious. While I wait for the uniforms to show up, I go grab one of those electric sanders and then pay for my stuff.

***

Well after making a brief detour to the station in order fill out the report, plus a stop at Wal-Mart to pick up a new coffee maker, I finally get back home. Just as I'm finishing up Sandburg's desk, the front door opens and my roommate walks in. He dumps his bag on the floor and tosses his keys in the basket. Then, he turns and catches sight of me. Even though he smiles and his eyes light up, I can still see how exhausted he is. It's finals week at the university and that always wears him out. He asks me how my day off was. I hesitate for a second as I take in his slumped shoulders and how tired he looks. I tell him that I had a pretty good day and he says that he's glad. Then I tell him that I fixed his desk and he gives me of his huge, blinding smiles. I can't help smiling back at him. He goes to take a shower while I go put up my tools. Naturally, I drop my toolbox on my foot and, as I'm hoping up and down while screaming at the top of my lungs, my dripping, towel-clad roommate comes running out of the bathroom.

Oh yeah, it's just one of those days.

The End

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