We were on the road at 7:15am on our day off together, driving through jungly traffic on the 205 to get to an 8o’clock appointment at our highly recommended accountant’s office.
I was sick. Something lodged in my sinus cavity the week before and was making my life miserable, breathing wise. Chris was cranky because he had to get up early to go do our taxes, which is reason enough to be in a bad mood.
I was swearing and clutching my forehead in the stop and go lurch of rush hour. There were no signs of an accident or anything that indicated that the road would be freeing up any time soon.
We pulled up to the building at 7:58 and I grinned at Chris.
“Isn’t it amazing? We made it here on time after all.” He looked at me the way a cat looks at a spider before batting it across the floor.
“Yeah, that’s great.”
I turned to pick up the enormous stack of papers needed to itemize our deductions. They weren’t on the back seat. I looked at my bag. They weren’t sticking out the top of that either. I looked at the floor, at Chris’ lap, in my own lap. The papers were not in the vicinity.
I freaked out.
“Oh SHIT! We just drove almost an HOUR to get here early on our DAY OFF and I LEFT THE PAPERS on the KITCHEN TABLE!” My initial outburst was followed by some choice bits of self-criticism, as well as some stuff thrown in the direction of my car mate, who decided to tell me that flipping out and yelling wasn’t going to make the papers magically appear.
We both stormed away from the car. Chris took off down the street with no hat or gloves, even though the morning was brisk enough to have caused a quarter inch frost on everything, and me into the CPA office, trying to pull it together so as to not start blubbering in the presence of people who were going to decide how big my return was.
It was easy to reschedule the appointment, and the woman only stared briefly at my purple hair. I was still pissed about pulling such a bonehead move though, that when I got back out to the car and Chris hadn’t materialized, I figured that if he wanted to walk, that was fine with me, and started to pull out of the parking lot.
Then I envisioned him 45 minutes from home in a completely unfamiliar part of town with no warm clothes and possibly no wallet, and decided to turn my hazard lights on and give him five minutes to show up. I saw him coming towards the car with his hands in his pockets and his shoulders up around his ears. For some reason, this didn’t elevate my mood, and I glared at him as he opened his door and fell sighing into his seat.
We had planned on going out for pancakes to celebrate the end of the dreaded tax errand, but now that was in the toilet, as the errand was still looming on the calendar, and now we were just two pissed off people up at an uncivilized hour for basically no reason. I figured we’d just go straight home so we could get on with avoiding each other all day.
Half way through the longest car ride ever, I pulled impulsively into a gas station when I saw that they had a price of under $2/gallon. A guy breezed by and said, fill on a card? To which I said $20 cash, and he said, fill with cash, and then took off. I didn’t have any more than twenty and I tried to catch him, but I had no idea where he went, so I stomped into the store to try to reason it out with the woman inside.
‘Hi hon, I’ll be right there.” Her disembodied voice came floating out of a back room.
I gave a Halls cough drop display a full dose of my animosity with a glower.
“Just a fill up, hon?”
“Well, see, the thing is…”
She looked over her glasses at me, not unkindly.
“It’s cold enough out there to have put a frost on the pumpkin, am I right?”
“Yeah, I guess so. Whatever.”
“You look like you’ve got some frost on your personal pumpkin, if you don’t mind me saying. You know what that needs? A vigorous rubbing. That’ll take care of it.” She glanced at her register. “That’ll be $21.”
I had no idea what she meant, but it was the funniest thing I had heard all day, and I launched into one of those coughing laughs where you grip the surface in front of you and spray spit all over. She let the extra dollar slide.
I stumbled, giggling, out to the car, and announced to Chris that I may have frost on my personal pumpkin. He agreed.
Then we went out for pancakes.