Monday, April 12, 2010

The Nine Stages of

Forgetting Your Coffee

There may be seven stages of grief, but there are at least nine stages of forgetting your coffee that I have identified thus far, though there are probably more. Forgetting your coffee is mathematically way worse than grief.

For some stupid, stupid reason, I opted to wake up at 7AM on Sunday, the one day I could have slept in during the entirety of last week, and drive down to Needham. The drive down to Neeham wasn't the problem, nothing like my drive down to Marshfield on Friday afternoon. That was wicked bad. Apparently Marshfield is equidistant from Somerville with Burlington Vermont — they both take over three hours to drive to. I had to get down to Marshfield by 7 and I knew Friday night Boston traffic would suck a maximum, so I left really, like 3:15 early, with the idea that I would get down there before rush hour and hover at a Starbucks or something and get some work done. Ya right.

I hit stopped traffic getting on the highway three minutes from my house, I tried to relax and listen to my favorite elitist, liberal local public radio station and focus on the fact that I was not late for anything (unlike all the people around me who were obviously late for important beating their wife or kids appointments). That was all fine and dandy until I got into the tunnel and the radio cut out. I was in a borrowed car with no form of music available...I was at high risk of freaking the f— out, getting out of the car and walking away like Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

Then I realized that I had all my school stuff with me. I whipped out a large book and began reading. Not just reading, but annotating, while steering with my knee and keeping half and eye on the brake lights in front of me, taking periodic breaks to scowl at the "distracted drivers" around me texting on their u-phones (it's not an iphone until I get one). An hour passed and I was about halfway through the tunnel...and I had to pee. I pee a lot. I drink a lot of coffee and I counteract its dehydrating effect by guzzling pints and pints of water all day. Which is fine in my normal, everyday, not sitting in traffic for hours life, but it wasn't working out for me Friday.

I tried to hold it, telling myself: "Look, you sometimes half wake up during the night having to pee, but then you manage to fall back to sleep and hold your pee for several more can do this!" But I couldn't. No way. I opened the window and dumped out my water bottle. Then I looked for a good spot to perform the act of peeing into it: OK, no SUVS next to me with kids staring down at me (who am I kidding? They're all watching Sponge Bob on their personal seatback DVD players). I made a few attempts to get it done, but every time traffic would stop with a semi-truck right next to me (and I know the driver is not watching Sponge Bob, he's looking down into my little car...seeing the shaved legs, following them up to the...hand holding the pee bottle — "OH GOD!").

Finally I found a spot. I straightened up in my seat so I looked like I was six-foot-four and let 'er rip. It was one of those: "There is a God" moments. Then I realized that I was only peeing in a bottle because I had been sitting in traffic in a dark, damp, scary tunnel for two hours, thereby disproving the existence of God. No God, not even one of the capricious, vengeful Greek ones, would allow such incredible human suffering.

Oh, I guess I was supposed to talk about The Nine Stages of Forgetting Your Coffee, before I got side-tracked on my very convincing disproving the existence of God tangent, but I'm out of time. Perhaps someone or some ones would like to look at the above photo and name the stages, which I will publish tomorrow.

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