It was a day full of mystery, and not the good kind. Just one oddity after another, making Rachel wonder if her reality was somehow a fraction out of sync with the rest of the worlds’. It began in the first few hours of the morning, when typing away at her desk she noticed a dark smudge on her upper arm. Upon further inspection Rachel discovered a bruise, about the size of a large thumbprint, was ripening into a purple knot. “Ouch,” she muttered to herself as she rubbed her arm absently, “where did that come from?” she wondered.
The second mystery, should you wish to call it that, occurred less than two hours later. Needing a bit of a ‘pick-me-up’, Rachel plucked a dollar from her purse and made her way to the office break room. Scanning the soda selection, she decided on a Coke Zero and inserted her dollar. Pressing the button she waited for the can to drop, and waited, and waited. “What the deuce?” Giving the machine an obligatory kick with the side of her foot, Rachel frowned and punched the dispenser button for each kind of soft drink without any results. Feeling robbed, Rachel tried the ‘change returned’ button a few times before giving up in a huff. A dollar down and a caffeine headache on the horizon, Rachel was not a happy camper.
Resigning herself to a cup of tap water from the break room sink, Rachel tried to choke down a gulp before gagging on the notoriously sulfur-infused Florida water. “I’d rather die of thirst”, she thought to herself as she dumped her cup out in the sink and headed back to her office. The rest of her day was one interruption after another until finally, she found some time to grab a bit to eat and cloister herself in her office for much needed lunch break.
Closing her office door, Rachel sat back behind her desk and took a bite of her sandwich with one hand as she flipped to her place in a dog-eared book with the other. A few minutes in and Rachel was suddenly started by a movement and noise at her door. Looking up, she was surprised to see her door opened and an unfamiliar woman walk in. “Uh, can I help you?” Rachel wanted to ask; peeved that someone would be so rude as to just walk into her office uninvited. Wanted to ask but unable to as the strange women began pelting her with orders upon entering, “I need to get into that room across the hall. You need to show me into that room, I need to check the supplies in there”. After showing the rude woman to the room she requested, Rachel shook her head and wondered for the third time that day if something was just a bit ‘off’. A mystery bruise, a thieving vending machine and a woman who ignored the universal understanding that a closed door meant ‘unavailable’, these events weren’t all that significant but they definitely made Rachel feel as if there was something very wrong with her day.
Arriving home, Rachel was greeted by her mother in the kitchen. “How was your day, honey?” her mother asked as she stirred something on the stove.
“Ugh it was awful. You ever have one of those days where everything feels a bit, off?” Rachel replied as she plopped down at the kitchen table. Her mother stopped what she was doing and turned to face Rachel, a worried expression on her face.
Seeing her mother’s concern, Rachel quickly continued, “It wasn’t anything major, just a few things that had me questioning my sanity a bit,” she attempted a chuckle. “Little stuff like finding this bruise on my arm and having no clue where it came from,” she said as she inspected the bruise again before showing her mother. “Not only that, but the vending machine ate my dollar, it acted like I never even put it in. And then, ugh, there was this obnoxious woman who just barged right into my office while I was trying to eat, she just opened the door and waltzed right in,” she finished in a huff.
Rachel’s mother had been nervously biting her lower lip throughout Rachel’s recount of her day and now looked to be on the verge of tears. Wondering why her mom was so affected by her story Rachel said, “Mom, don’t cry, I told you it wasn’t anything that was a huge deal, definitely nothing to get upset about”.
Reigning in her emotions, her mother nodded and then, in a very detached voice that sounded a bit strange to Rachel’s ears asked, “Rachel, what day is it today?”
Wondering what her mother could possibly be up to, asking such a bizarre question, Rachel almost laughed before noticing the sobering look her mother was giving her. Deciding it was just best to answer she said, “It’s Monday, May 23, 2001”. Seeing her mother’s face fall, Rachel knew something was wrong. “What? What is it?” she asked, a bit panicky.
‘It’s ok sweetie. Don’t get upset. I just… I just need to call the doctor,” her mother replied breathlessly before moving towards the phone mounted in the opposite wall of the kitchen.
“Call the doctor? I don’t understand, call what doctor? Mom? Mom, answer me!” Rachel was beginning to feel like she was falling down a rabbit hole.
“Calm down, Rachel. It’s just a little relapse; the doctor said this might happen. Just sit down and drink your glass of water,” Rachel’s mother said as she dialed.
“What are you talking about?!? Relapse, from what? I don’t understand,” Rachel almost screamed, her heart racing.
“Just drink your water, Rachel. I have to talk to the doctor now,” her mother replied in clipped phrases before turning her back and whispering into the phone.
“Water? What are you talking about? What water?” Rachel thought she was going to lose it and then she saw it- a half-empty glass of water in front her on the table. Where did that come from? Rachel wondered frantically, she didn’t remember it being there a moment before. Seeing the toffee colored lip smear of her favorite lip gloss on the rim of the glass, Rachel’s eyes widened and something clicked inside her mind. It was then she knew, she hadn’t been at work today. There had been no rude woman or stubborn soda machine. Looking down at her arm, Rachel gasped- the dark purple bruise had disappeared.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Oh Monday… that pretty much sums up my day. It wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t great, it was just… sigh, Monday. Besides being the most loathed day of the week, this particular Monday was an odd one for ol’ Sammy. It was just a weird day, first came the discovery a mystery bruise, a pretty purple doosie on my arm- no idea where that came from and didn’t even notice it until someone pointed it out at work (I really need to invest in a full-length mirror). Then there was the money-eating Coke machine. It sucked up my dollar bill like an al dente noodle and then sat there smugly, refusing to hold up its end of the bargain. Stupid machine. Then, there was little Miss “I-don’t-knock-I just-come-in”. Maybe I was just a bit grumpy because I was kept from eating until 3pm today, but to me, a closed door can mean several things, none of which include, “Invite yourself in without so much as a courtesy knock”. And then, to be basically given orders? Homey don’t play that. Some people… There were a few other weird occurrences, nothing really worth mentioning, all things combined though, I just felt like my whole day was off. Only one way to fix that- go to sleep and wake up to a new day tomorrow.
Love & Squirrels.