Yes, that's N-I-N-E-T-E-E-N days. Of working. Out of town. Elsewhere. And not sleeping in my bed. And working. And I'm lazy.
That's 19 days of spending 18-20 hours per day with my co-workers. And not killing them. Which is its own sort of difficulty and stress, because some of them DARN WELL NEEDED KILLIN'.
Also, this happened:
Day Four: I walk out into our special parking lot to see my car has acquired a flat. The security guard helps me change it with his new power screwdriver tool dohickey. I dunno. I just thanked the man and looked sadly at the teeny weeny spare and thought about how I couldn't really afford to replace the tire right now so I hope they can fix the flat.
Day Five: Two hours spent in tire shop getting flat fixed while co-workers are forced to cover for me. They are not happy. The tire shop fixes it for free. I am v.v. happy, for certain values of "happy" that include the obvious notation that NOT GETTING A FLAT IN THE FIRST PLACE WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.
Day Eight: I leave our temporary workplace at 11:30 p.m. It's supposed to rain the next day. I decide it would be smart of me to fill my car up with gas before the rain starts, so I drive to a convenience store and get gas. I start to leave. The car chooses not to start. It makes a clicky noise. I am a resourceful sort, so I call my co-worker -- it's now midnight -- and ask her to bring her jumper cables.
She doesn't have jumper cables, so she calls and wakes up ANOTHER co-worker to come. They both drive over and the one with the jumper cables has pretty obviously just thrown a jacket on over her jammies. It's so nice to know what your co-workers wear to bed.
In the meantime, a nice policeman has stopped to supervise our use of the jumper cables. Nothing happens. I mean Nothing. Happens. A guy who happens to be a mechanic drives by and stops. He also supervises our use of jumper cables. Nothing happens. He rolls under the car -- the rain hasn't started and it's a pleasant evening -- and bangs around on things. Nothing happens. He rolls back out and says, "Sorry, it's probably your starter."
My two co-workers, the mechanic and the policeman are having a gay old time, chatting it up and laughing, talking about their dogs, trading phone numbers -- I don't know what all went on. Remember back up at Day Four when I didn't have money to buy a new tire? STILL BROKE.
Day Nine: After calling all over our temporary city home for a dealership, one agrees to come pick up my car. A wrecker arrives and my car is hauled away to Dealer Land. It happens to be the same day I have sold my horse and he is leaving town as well. IT IS NOT A GOOD DAY.
Day 10: Dealership calls to say, "It's a bad battery. That'll be $350 please, including your towing charge." Fortunately, I'm super busy and don't have time to go pay them.
Day 11: I go pay them.
Day 12-18: Co-workers mock my pain. Did I mention some of them DARN WELL NEEDED KILLIN?
Day 19: TIME TO DRIVE HOME!!! YIPPEEE!! A co-worker -- the one who came out in the middle of the night, so I didn't kill her -- wants to have brunch. As we leave the restaurant, she points to a pimply lump on the side of my tire and says, "Is that supposed to be there?" I go for gas, and in the meantime, a second pimple develops on the tire -- the same one that the tire shop fixed back on Day Five. I drop by another branch of the tire shop. Do they think I can drive it four hours home? They do not. Buy a new tire, please.
On my new tire, I make it home. The cat's litter boxes haven't been changed in 19 days. That's my first chore. Listening to her yowl about the nasty boxes, the empty food dishes -- I left enough for 10 cats, and it has all been eaten -- and the general loneliness of being An Abandoned Cat is my second job.
While I was out of town -- about Day 12 or so -- my hometown had a big ice storm. I had heard that there was a lot of damage. I got home to find my old elm has done a lot of self pruning of its giant limbs. But you know what?
That's a problem that's going to have to wait for Day 20, because I'm heading off to bed now.