Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Telling incident

Showed up at the Cafe for a meeting to go over edits in a friend's articles. I didn't see him, and after 15 minutes I ran back to my apartment to get my computer, then ran again to the cafe so I could check my email on their wireless.

I was convinced that I had screwed up, that we had said 4 and I had only thought the meeting was supposed to be at 5. My fear picked up as I ran to my apartment and back. It occurred to me that I might drop my laptop and then I'd have an even bigger problem -- but emphasis on even, as if screwing up an afternoon appointment were the top-ranked junior edition of breaking a computer worth a couple thousand dollars.

Dashing across the street on my way back, with the cafe door in sight, I hated the bicyclists for making my life harder as I was going to die. (The bicyclists aren't sporty types, just harmless people traveling home from work. My neighborhood's chief corner is where a medium-size east-west street runs into a major north-south street. You really notice when rush hour kicks in.) Once in the cafe, I logged on and found an email from my friend. He was apologizing for having to reschedule -- could we meet tomorrow?

I dimly computed that I hadn't screwed up. It was a bit like getting a letter from the college you applied to and not being able to process that they had said yes. I really had been scared; it's no way to live your life.

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