Yesterday, on my way to being late for work, after I'd taken Jackson to preschool and basically just flung him out the car toward the school (on Mondays the teachers stand in front holding a big net), I sped off and found some Presidential parking next to the Daily Grind on De La Vina Street, a two-lane affair that, due to some seemingly abandoned traffic cones, was about the width of one bowling alley lane. I was in and out with breakfast to go in three minutes flat, and when I got back to my car I peered up the chute and guessed that I had about ten seconds to get into my car before being sideswiped to death by a cement truck.
10: Stand in street next to car holding single whole-milk latte, bottle of water, muffin in a bag, and big fat purse. Rummage through purse. Where are keys?
9: Oh, they're in that pocket!
8: Shift all foodstuffs to left hand and put coffee on car roof.
7: Take keys out of pocket; drop keys in street.
6: Pick up keys.
5: Open car.
4: Throw purse, water, and muffin bag into passenger seat.
3: Straighten up, reach for coffee.
2: Knock coffee over, spilling whole-milk latte all over car roof and washing it down over windshield.
1: Become that hateful kind of person who leaves car door wide open while ass hangs out into street. Bend over driver's seat to put a half-empty coffee cup into handy cup holder. Find handy cup holder occupied by empty water bottle; throw water bottle in back seat and jam coffee cup into cup holder.
0: Leap into car and slam door. Truck rumbles by, inches away. With heart still in throat, contemplate lovely, delicious whole-milk latte streaming down windshield. Wiper fluid reservoir is full, but windshield wipers, at four years old, though eager, are useless. Watch wipers cheerfully smear coffee all over windshield. With five minutes left to make a ten minute drive, get on freeway. Careen blindly from lane to lane. Arrive breathlessly at work, leap out of car, and notice dried rivers of coffee blown over roof of white car. Run into office and find normally anal boss sitting in his pajamas, gossiping with a plumber.
Yay! Pretend you're not late!