Panic Like You Forgot Your Scantron
29 September 2009 at 2:57 pm
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fucking fuck. If I could go back ten minutes and get back on the train I just got off a stop early for no good reason other than everyone else was doing it, I wouldn't have missed my flight. If I hadn't gotten on the next train, which took me to Millbrae instead of SFO, I wouldn't have missed my flight. If it was the weekend, there would have been a train from Millbrae to SFO and I wouldn't have missed my flight. But now I'm fucked.
God, that PANIC. I haven't felt that sort of stress in years, that sort of anything in months, someone punching me repeatedly in the diaphragm, heart-stopping nausea, the minutes ticking by too slowly and too quickly, too slowly as the next train is further and further away, too quickly as my departure time gets closer and closer.
My eyes scan the lines of Lolita and I flip through three pages before I realize I'm not reading. To make myself feel better, I think, maybe this is one of those things that happens because something else is supposed to happen. I'm going to meet someone. I'm going to be given an opportunity. I'm going to avoid a falling anvil.
I know things are going to be alright. In the absolute worst case scenario, I have to buy a new ticket home, but that doesn't happen. I'm on standby for the next flight out and get a row to myself. I have time for a delicious Boudin sandwich and a disappointing peach scone and read a hundred more pages of Lolita, actually retaining most of it (what a great fucking book). And I probably would have missed my flight anyway if I hadn't gotten off that train, for the lines at check-in and security (which I've charmed my way through in desperate times in the past), but this way, I get to blame myself instead of outside influences.
It's just a bad day, which I realize when I get to work and don't have my keys. That's okay, too: I go and work at the other office that employs me until my boss gets back from lunch. Even the worst days aren't so bad. There's always a back-up plan.
This is why I can't live my life by a time table, why I can't have real jobs, why I have clients instead of employers. If I'm going to be punctual, I'm going to be fucking punctual, but I'm not very good at being punctual at all, so I'm late and frazzled and stressed and disappointed and disappointing. That's why I work jobs that don't require me to be anywhere at any given time, except for the bar, but I can definitely handle showing up somewhere at 9:00pm twice a week. (Most of the time.) Everything works out, as it always does, and it's never worth the stress, but it's nice to be feeling again.
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