It appears that I ticked off somebody big upstairs, had somebody poke a pin in my voodoo doll effigy, stepped on a crack that broke my back, or whatever the heck those old sayings are that mean you are cosmically screwed- at least temporarily. I have no idea who I pissed off, but I could tell the insane week I’d had was steamrolling into a whole mess of somethin-somethin by the end of the day on Thursday after I’d been up since the crack’o’dawn, taught until I jumped in the car to make the long drive to work with the band of one of our alums during which all sorts of wacky things happened along the way, then made the long drive back through absolutely crazy traffic straight into a rehearsal with my colleagues at UAB that lasted until 8pm. By the time I finally got home I was so tired I could barely form words to talk to Dan. I was like his cave woman wife, grunting and nodding, but without the bone in my hair.
Where did my city go? Not a good sign…
The next morning, I woke feeling the cloud of doom over me. Uh-oh. For those of you who know me or who’ve read my blog for any length of time know that I am usually sickeningly positive- I always do my best to find the silver lining. Always. Well…this morning, that damn silver lining caught on fire and torched the hell out of my backside. Here’s how it went down…
Normally, my peepers pop open without any electronic help at 4:30 or 5am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start the day, just like my mother before me. I was counting on that bushy-tail-ed-ness, as I had to drive about thirty minutes across town to do two clarinet clinics with lots of middle school students. You can’t fake energy and excitement with middle schoolers – they can spot a fake a mile away and will eat you alive. It’s not pretty. Seriously- it’s like the Zombie Apocalypse, but with little kids.
Now where was I? Oh, bushy-tail-ed-ness, or lack there of. I pried my eyes open and gasped. 6:30 freaking am. Not good. My body felt like lead; the zombie voodoo curse was obviously already in place. I dragged myself out of bed and dragged my groggy Border collie’s sorry butt out of bed, too (she obviously had contact-Zombie voodoo curse from sleeping next to me). Dan got a free pass since he is retired.
Sophie makes time for morning yoga, even with a curse…
Try as I might to hurry, I felt like I was swimming through mud while the clock raced forward. I finally raced out the door- already dressed for the recital I had to play with the UAB Chamber Trio in Mississippi later that night (I did say this has been a crazy time), and ran by school to pick up what I needed for my clinics.
Next came the beginning of a series of fatal mistakes…I neglected to print directions, trusting that Google Maps would deliver me to my destination on this very overcast day. I knew the school was in the north part of town, so I headed north on the interstate in the busy morning rush hour traffic.
Hey Siri…Driving directions to North Jefferson Middle School.
I try this several times, beginning to panic. I hate, hate being late.
I begin to call Siri names that are not very Christian. I am not sorry.
At this point I am about in tears, and I finally pull off the highway and call Dan to ask for help. Dan gives me the address, and as I take out my pen to write it down along with the number of the school, the pen explodes in my hand. I kid you not. Black ink all over my hands. Perfect.
I clean up the best I can, call the band director to let her know about my delay, and get Siri back on my team with the directions….at least I hope she’s taking me to the school and not to the middle of some corn field in east Egypt, Alabama.
I finally make it to the school and do my two clinics, where the middle schoolers are adorable, exhausting, and precious. I leave and get lost trying to get home. I call Siri names that are not Christian, sensing an unhealthy trend. I get behind a semi who throws a rock that chips my windshield. I shake my head in defeat.
I finally make it back to campus, and- throwing caution to the wind- park my car illegally on the corner by the music building because it is raining and I have tons of stuff to carry- and because, you know, I’m already cursed anyway. I got to my office and immediately called Dan, who says he is coming to kidnap me for lunch during my only break. I almost break down in tears. I love this man.
We go to one of our favorite places, but our favorite server is not there…and nothing goes right. When we leave, a truck has blocked us into our spot, something that has never happened. Dan tells me that I am cursed and he plans to smudge his car as soon as he drops me off at work. So much for ‘in sickness and in health’…or ‘in curses’, or whatever that is…
I leave for Mississippi with my UAB Chamber Trio colleagues, fingers crossed that my bad mojo doesn’t spread to them or to our performance. As we walk to the car in the rain, my umbrella blows inside out. I apologize to my colleagues in advance. After dinner with our host as he is kindly holding the door open for me, my clarinet case knocks his container of leftovers out of his hands and onto the sidewalk. I am a pariah.
We play well, we have fun on stage, there are no tragedies, and I am now safely home in a quiet house with my family upstairs asleep – except for Shiva, who is a vampire and only sleeps during the day. It is not quite midnight, but I am praying that the curse has finally lifted and tomorrow will be a much better day. I’m back to looking for that silver lining – even if it’s a bit singed around the edges. Even on days like this, you have to keep your sense of humor. You just have to. And eat chocolate- medicinal purposes, of course.