All this week, I’ve felt physically exhausted for no apparent reason and more depressed than usual. I’ve been impatiently awaiting Friday all week and woke up in a decent mood this morning because it had actually arrived.
I went to my part-time afternoon job. My boss had recently purchased some fiber optic cable and wanted me to terminate it. I’m in no way qualified to do this, but I guess they’d rather me fuck up $100 worth of connectors trying to get it right than hire someone who has been trained to do it. I tried to follow the instructions, but quickly noticed that they were for a different kind fiber optic connector and wouldn’t help me at all. I searched high and low on the web, but was unable to find the correct instructions. In fact, a Google search for the part number of these things yielded exactly zero results. I emailed the company. Hopefully, I’ll hear back from them
That was kind of crappy, but nothing compared to the rest of the day. See, this was supposed to be a good day. Last week I put an ad in the paper for freelance computer repair. Right after work was when my first customer was scheduled. She complained that her computer was running too slow and something was wrong with the colors.
Unless it was something nasty that would require a reinstall, I reasoned that it would probably only take me a half-hour or so. Then I could go home, smoke a little something, fire up Madden 2004, and start enjoying the weekend.
Actually, the job ended up only taking fifteen minutes. I left home to go to the woman’s house at 5:30 and didn’t get back until 9:30. So where did the other three hours and forty-five minutes go, you ask?
Well, to begin, the directions were downright shitty and I got lost. The traffic was the worst I’d ever seen in this city, which really didn’t help. I also forgot my cell phone, which meant that I had to hunt down a pay phone to call the lady for clarification on the directions. Of course, finding a payphone isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be, thanks to all the people who don’t forget their cell phones when they go out. :smack:
I didn’t get there until 7. Yeah, an hour and a half to get across town. The computer was laden with spyware and adware, so I gave it the Spybot/Adaware treatment and suddenly it was as fast as it was the day they bought it. “Something wrong with the colors” turned out to be a display adapter conflict, which I quickly cleared up.
Since it was a quick job and I really need more customers, I told the woman to just give my phone number to anyone she knows that needs computer help, in lieu of payment. She was pleased and I was pleased, so I left.
On the way home, my car strarted knocking loudly. The noise got louder and louder and the car started stalling at lights. When it got to be so bad and stalled so much that I could hardly move, I coasted into a gas station and asked the attendent if I could leave it there overnight. Luckily, he said yes.
I clutched at my pockets, hoping I had enough money for a cab. No such luck. Five dollars and no ATM card. Fuck! If I would have charged the lady for my computer services, I’d have plenty of cash handy for a cab.
So I walked. I walked five fucking miles on a brutal August evening in Southern Louisiana, clutching a CD burner and an IDE round cable. Even in the dark, the heat/humidity here is hellish. I’ve been known to break a sweat in the 20 feet between my apartment door and my car door at 3 AM!
That’s not even the worst of it. 95% of my walk was down what is quite possibly the most dangerous road in the city to walk along. It’s a busy two-lane highway, with absolutely no shoulder and no streetlights. I walked most of the way through knee-deep grass, weeds, and sticky shit. I’m lucky I didn’t disturb a snake or something. To make matters worse, the ground was very uneven. Much of the way I was stumbling, yelping in pain as I repeatedly put my weight down on the side of my foot, and cursing this fucking city under my breath. I snagged my shirt on not one, but two mailboxes, pulling them both open. Maybe I ripped my shirt, maybe I didn’t. I haven’t checked. I don’t care.
About a dozen times, cars slowed down and leaned on their horns or yelled rude comments out their windows as they drove by. What the fuck is that shit? You fuckwads think I don’t know I’m walking down the side of a dark road?! You think I wouldn’t be in a car if I had a choice? Hell, you think I wouldn’t be walking down a different road altogether if whoever planned this city wasn’t drunk at the time? To walk down another road, my walk would have been almost twice as long, and not much better lit. Did it ever occur to you that you’d make my night if you simply stopped, took five minutes out of your busy evening of yelling obscenities at strangers, and gave me a lift? I’d be willing to give you a sweat-soaked five-dollar bill for your troubles.
Much of the walk was an exercise in fighting nausea, and blotting my face every few steps with my shirt so I could see. Not that there was anything to see, mind you. In some places, it was so dark that I couldn’t even see the ground in front of my feet.
When I finally got home, I threw open the apartment door, expecting to be greeted by a cool blast of air conditioned glory. Nope. My wife had turned off the A/C before she left for work. It was just as hot inside as it was out. I CAN’T WIN!
I set the A/C down to about 60 and lunged for the shower faster than I ever had in my life. Unless you’ve ever walked or exercised outside for a significant amount of time during a Gulf Coast summer, you probably can’t appreciate how good that shower felt. There wasn’t a stitch of my clothing that hadn’t been soaked. I was wringing sweat out of my hair like it was a towel by the time I got home.
Ah, but now it’s all over and the bad feelings are beginning to subside. Now I’ve wasted about an hour of Madden time composing this post. Actually, most of it was running through my head as I walked home. Ever do that? Have a day so bad that you’re writing the Pit thread in your head before it’s even over? I have them way too often. If I posted all of them, you guys probably would have called me a whiney asshat and ran me off years ago.