So I was stuck in traffic today and had an epiphany. I’m not sure why my epiphanies happen during the most mundane moments. Maybe that’s the norm. I don’t know, I’m not an expert on epiphanies. I can barely manage to keep my troglodyte brain lumbering along to complete life’s necessary functions, so any upper echelon thought I have is a welcome and surprising change of pace.
I had a bad day today. I slept like shit, mainly because Will repeatedly woke up during the night. It would’ve been OK if he was having an epiphany too, but I doubt that was the case. If it was, his epiphanies involve copious amounts of urine and screaming. So as we’re trudging along getting ready for work and school, MJ and I both smelled smoke. Burning of any kind is bad enough, but it was the second time in as many days we smelled it. We thought it was the dryer yesterday so we unplugged it and it seemed to go away. But this morning it was much, much stronger. And soon the pantry was getting smoky.
Turns out we were on the verge of an electrical fire because of an electrical problem related to the hot water heater. I found smoke billowing up from the box at which point I flipped the breaker and called the fire department. Minutes later I had three of Bourne’s finest searching my walls for hot spots. They didn’t find any, but they told me there’s definitely some sort of problem and I should call the electrician.
At that point I cringed. Hard. Not just because I had to miss work and shell out money, but because the money I’d be shelling out was supposed to be for a last-minute trip tomorrow night. MJ and I are celebrating our 5-year anniversary. Well, scratch that. We WERE going away to celebrate our 5-year anniversary. Now we’re going to have a modest dinner somewhere. Bummer.
Speaking of putting out fires, today was the day we took the unpleasant but necessary step to deal with our financial woes. MJ was told only one of us had to sign papers, but she was given misinformation. Which meant I had to haul my ass 25 minutes in each direction right in the middle of all this madness.
And oh yeah, did I mention we have my grandfather’s memorial service tomorrow?
So on my way back from admitting financial defeat, after getting no sleep and almost having my kitchen catch on fire the day before a funeral, it was safe to say I was in a pretty bad mood. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was finding myself stuff at a hellish intersection with no traffic light near the center of Plymouth.
Every single time I tried to inch my way out into traffic I had to jam on the brakes because of oncoming cars. A few times I thought I could lurch out quickly but no one was letting me in and I had to stomp on the brakes and then back up quickly to avoid being T-boned.
On and on it went. No one would let me in and the line of cars in both directions looked endless.
I’ve been through a lot in the last year. Job stress, MJ’s health, losing a pregnancy, three daycares, loved ones dying, etc. And yet my most intense freak-out came at the intersection of Route 44 & Allerton Street when I couldn’t take a left-hand turn.
I started screaming at the cars. Swearing, spitting, foaming at the mouth type of stuff. Punching the ceiling, the passenger seat…letting out primal aggression and frustration in the only way I could think of at the time. It only lasted 15-20 seconds but it felt like an eternity. Then, after five minutes of being stuck there, someone stopped and let me in. Just like that. I made the left, hit the gas and I was going again.
(Cue the epiphany music)
My life is stuck at an awful intersection right now. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it or try to look at the bright side, because it really does suck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m lucky I have my wife and my son, but I’m kind of a hot mess at the moment. Broke, frustrated, sanity cascading away like water over the falls. And I can’t see a break in traffic for 1,000 miles in either direction.
But somebody’s gonna let me in. I may have to peel out and burn some rubber, but my break is coming. I think a good bulk of my unhappiness stems from losing sight of the little things that make life fun. Like Will’s crazy mannerisms, alone time with MJ and the high I’d almost forgotten from exercise. So I’m going to start enjoying life instead of tolerating it.
Well, you know… right after the funeral tomorrow and the anniversary celebration that is now taking place in our living room instead of a hotel spa.