Yesterday has to be the most extraodinary and ridiculously exasperating day I can remember.
1. I get up early in my hotel to the smell of burning toast. Oh I see they have finally gotten rid of the floor blowers that have been running half the night because of the rain soaked carpets.
2. I cannot find the syrup for the French Toast at the continental breakfast.
3. Upon checkout, I am given the wrong receipt.
4. I get to the office but forgot my badge in the car. I have to walk back across the parking lot to get it. And after all, this is my last day on the contract, I have to turn in the damned thing anyway.
5. Neither my immediate supervisor or the project sponsor are in today. Oh well, I'm just working a half day anyway with not much to do besides cleanup my cube and desktop.
6. Well what do you know. AMZN pops 15%. I just made a pile of money in the stock market. And Walmart is back too. I feel like I can pick 'em.
7. Horrible news. The death of a close friend. One of the best people. I am deflated heading towards despondance. I shuffle papers on my desk.
8. I leave without saying goodbye to the one person I wanted most to.
9. I hate New Jersey road construction. I find myself lost again somewhere between South Orange and the 78. This time it's the desolate corner of Muhammad Ali and Irvine Turner in Ghetto Newark.
10. I'm in the spaghetti of roads near the Avis drop-off and another friend calls about the tragedy. I am on the edge of not wanting to do anything but scream. I try to business-like. Business-like? WTF?
11. The Avis girl makes me fill out a form about the dent in the driver's door. I'm still on the phone talking about death. I am reminded that I picked up this car, a shitbox Hyundai, at 2:00 in the morning, in the dark, in the rain. I'm still on the phone.
12. I am the Foursquare mayor of the Avis Rentacar at Newark Airport. Still. I mention this to one of the attendants. He has no idea what I'm talking about and tells me he sees celebrities all the time, like Hal Holbrooke.
13. I look nothing like Corey Booker.
14. I stop off at Terminal A out of habit. But my proper terminal is C, I'm flying United. I have to get back onto the next shuttle train. Well, at least I am ahead of schedule.
15. My credit card is not working at the United kiosk. I have to fumble and find papers. I hate looking like a rube traveler. I'm really starting to wonder about this day. My friend is dead. Pause. Breathe.
16. I get through security. I call the Spousal Unit. Should I eat now or wait until I get to LA? I decide to eat now, but not at the Oyster Bar.
17. A couple of TSA workers stride past me, one of them grumbling that he knew he shouldn't have come to work today. TSA workers, walking fast?
18. I finally find a Chinese food place - I sit with my General Tso's and Bourbon Chicken and somebody in a red jacket about 10 yeards away is saying "OK if you're with the restaurant you can stay... everybody else needs to evacuate."
19. So I'm evacuating. Calmly. With my Oakly bag over my shoulder, an orange Vitamin Water in my left hand with my plate of lo mein and chicken. I can eat and evacuate at the same time.
20. I'm sitting in the wind-blown and chilly smoking area outside security checkpoint C1 with one bar of AT&T 3G. None of my tweet searches are coming back. It has been an hour now.
21. The bomb dogs are leaving the building. I return to the crush of 10,000 people going back through security again at Newark Terminal C. I try to think about my Amazon stock.
22. I am in boarding group 8. Eight!?
23. I hobble off the plane 7 hours later at LAX. My legs are killing me, my cellphone's battery is dead. I am in Terminal Seven at last. 80 minutes late.
24. They sent my luggage to Terminal Six.