Pulling away from my home, without my kids in the car, felt like the hardest thing I’d ever have to do. An unsettling calm covered the land, muffling out the normal din of our maddening Monday rush. The empty parking lot at 7-11 threw me off my routine so much that I forgot to buy something. At the second 7-11, at the edge of yet another empty lot, I joked with the cashier, “What, did everyone leave town? Is there something I should know about?” He just nodded as we exchanged an uncomfortable smile.
The roads seemed abandoned. I caught so many green lights on my way out of town that I made a mental note to buy a lottery scratcher (I didn’t win anything). I swear a tumbleweed crossed my path, or perhaps simply an illegal plastic bag floated by. I slapped my face to wake up from this crazy dream after I pulled into my parking lot and my access card worked first swipe. Then, it hit me… it’s a holiday, everyone else was frozen in time (in La-la Land, still tucked in bed), and I was at work.
My screeching disrupted the balance of this Monday so significantly that recovery seemed a distant possibility:
- An unexpected fire alarm sounded causing mass evacuation – I suspect the other employees at work today, rather than the students trying to avoid midterms. Did we do an employee count afterwards to see if anyone snuck to their car and drove home? No. (Dang, why didn’t I think of that?)
- Direct deposits didn’t land in our accounts – because, apparently, even computers vacationed today – but not me.
- The sun shone brilliantly trying to lure us outside – ok that hasn’t been so unusual this winter.
Every effort to communicate verbally or electronically felt as if we were trying to work with people on the other end of that double black hole that caused the wrinkle in time… yeah, ok, I don’t really get it. But if felt that hard to comprehend!
Thankfully, time marched on in the linear fashion I’ve grown accustomed to and at 5pm things returned to their normal state as I stepped out my office door…