One of Those Days

Today was one of those days. At the beginning, you're not exactly sure what kind of day it is, but you know it will be remarkable for one specific reason or another, and you watch with eager anticipation for that epiphanic moment to arrive. (True, there are days when it doesn't come, but those dull and otherwise uneventful days are best forgotten in any case.)

I've got a cold, which is my body's way of telling me that I'm not getting enough sleep, so I listened to it and pressed the snooze button a few times to many.

Naturally, this means that I missed my regular bus.

I still had more than an hour in which to make my way to the University for class, so I sat and waited for the next bus to come. (I needed to catch up on some reading anyway.)

Twenty minutes later... Thirty minutes later... finally my bus finally came. at least, it should have been my bus, but it went down the street and parked. The electronic route indicator widget was turned off, but I recognized the bus all the same. “Strange,” I thought; “they must switch over to the quarter-hour after this run. Oh well, still plenty of time.”

There was nobody else around, so I sat in the bus shelter and practiced my Old-English pronunciation for a while.

“Eadig bith se wer the ne gaeth on getheaht unrihtwisra, ne on tham wege ne stent synfulra, ne on heora wolbaerendum setle ne sette; ...”

What I hadn't realized is that the busses from the park-and-ride location in question only run every half-hour up until 10, which means that I had missed the last bus from that stop until afternoon, and I would have been waiting a very long time if I hadn't got a bit worried and gone to check.

I caught a bus at a different stop; my class being half over, I decided to return some unnecessary textbooks with my newfound free time. Naturally, fifteen other students had come to exactly the same conclusion fifteen minutes before I arrived, and there was a line down the hall and around the corner for the returns clerk.

After standing in line for twenty minutes and seeing one person in front of me leave in utter frustration, it dawned on me: that epiphanic moment, the climax of analytical existentialism, the sudden realization of exactly what sort of day I was having.

I was having a Mr Bean day.

I proceeded to fill my role by making sounds in time with the strange music that was spilling out of the campus radio station next to the bookstore. First, it was the mechanical pencil in my pocket. Then, I disassembled the pencil and tried to make different sounds with it; that didn't work. After going through the contents of my pocket and finding nothing that made a satisfactory sound, I discovered that if I shuffled around in just the right sort of way, I could make my shoes squeak on the linoleum.

After only five minutes of this, the girl in front of me left the line.

Success! One space closer to the front of the line!

There was a sign that read “Free Samples, take one” at the side of the desk with nothing beside it but some papers and a stapler; I was very tempted to take the stapler.

I made an effort to continue the day in a spirit of Bean. Frustrations involving photocopiers and library call numbers and so forth all took on a different meaning when I began to see them as a part of a dry and slightly absurd situation comedy.

I still have a cold, I missed my class, and my reading hasn't been doing itself, but at least I'm playing out the role that was written for me.

So, what sort of television programme were you starring in today?


Rain said...

Definatly a 'stranger than fiction day',have u seen that movie,true my routine is not as fixed as his,he had 32 teeth and he brushed his 32 teeth 72 times every day.i mean,no one can compete with such precision...but,things have been going on strangely,i was late for the taxi(known to tou as bus)just like the guy in the movie,wokek up too early.T he reverse,he alays woke up early,that day,he was late...its still too early 09am but its already a movie get back to you

RB said...

LOL wow Dan your synopsis of a Mr. Bean day was awesome, too bad your day wasn't better but I'm glad you saw the good side!

rush said...

I had to think awhile before I realized that yesterday was a M*A*S*H day for me in Seattle. I spent a lot of time in a cubicle cranking out words that weren't Pulitzer worthy, but filled the bill––meatball surgery seemed like an apt metaphor.

In the afternoon, I was listening to experts haggling over final detail points of their craft. I felt more like the Michael J Fox character from Back to the Future. The stunned look as the kid tried to comprehend the ramblings of the genius professor was a reminiscent image for me.

Thanks for writing the blog entry, it is a point of contact with 'home', for me while I'm in the emerald city.

Naomi said...

Ha ha, I can just imagine what Mr. Bean would do trying to get a ONECard to work...
But yeah, last but leave @ 0945, and you only miss it once before deciding it's not even worth it to leave home if you think there is the remotest possibility of being late for it (although you COULD go to the Transit Centre).