Thursday, November 10, 2011

signs signs everywhere signs

We meet for dinner and she tells me a story made greater by the inflections and smiles and how close it remains. It was years, decades even, ago when she decided to quit her job. Her Dad had been against it, what in the world would she do, how could she give up such security. She tried to assure him she would be okay, and he eventually had to accept the possibility she would.

She remembers that day, how she felt, how she couldn't hide the smile. Her Mom was meeting her at her apartment and they planned to celebrate so she stopped by a Walgreen's and picked up a six pack of beer and some chips. The cashier took notice of her and remarked, Girl, you're smiling like you just quit your job or something.

That's when Kay said, I did. I did quit my job. Just today. Can you believe it?

When she tells me this it is as if I am that cashier and she is beaming and we both laugh and I thank her for such a wonderful story. Then she tells me how excited she is for me. I linger in a moment which feels like a good sign, carry it with me this week when I need it. I remember the look on her face, and yesterday on my last day I consider getting a six pack on my way home but decide I am simply ready to be there, anxious to be home with Slater and Billy Sue and the feeling that walking out that door was one of the best steps I have taken in a long time.

I did consider the fuel situation. When I left home yesterday morning four little white squares from empty I thought I had just enough gas to get me back so when I drove away from my previous employer and looked at a gauge with two little squares I passed the gas station and got on the interstate ramp with no concern. No concern until I reached the bumper to bumper traffic about a half mile south of Hernando.

One little square, twenty minutes and a mile later I see a highway patrolman blocking an emergency and official use road and consider stopping to explain running out of gas is an emergency in my book. But I don't. I continue in the traffic and tell myself it will be okay and self laughs.

I don't have a cell phone but surely one of these other people do. I could use it and call Slater and he would laugh and taunt me with the story for years. Maybe I could hitch a ride with one of them. I would offer them money for their help and Slater and I could come back and pick up the car later. Or heck, I could start my new sabbatical exercise program early with a ten mile walk home. 

Whatever happened it was going to be okay. This was the one thing I knew.

Three miles later I lost all the little white squares.

Twenty minutes later I coasted into Coldwater where I sat at a packed gas station and waited my turn.

And yes, I was smiling with complete gratitude. You know I was.

It's over and it's beginning. It's going to be okay, better than okay 'cause it already is.

Or I am just psychotic.

We'll see.

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