1.Rest in Pieces
5:48pm, Wednesday, late April. The sun is only blinding me a little bit while I cruise along Welch St. at 20mph, windows rolled down to let the sweltering summer heat filter in and my blaring rock music out. Red Cardinals and fat brown House Sparrows chirp incessantly up in their roosts, thick verdant Oaks bounce acorns off my hood, and a car speeds past in the distance. Air conditioning is overrated when it uses up that much fuel. A glance at my clock. How much time do I have left to find parking before I’m late? It won’t take me long to get from the lot to the Auditorium building. It’s late enough that parking isn’t gonna be a big dea—
Out of the corner of my right eye, a flash of brown skittering at speed from the sidewalk straight into the road.
“No! Damn it!”
My car briefly and jarringly bounces up, and I hear a disturbing crrrch-pop. My hands are gripped achingly onto my steering wheel, heart pounding from an adrenaline rush, and I can see in my sideview mirror the pancaked squirrel who just committed suicide via wheel laying still in the middle of the patched asphalt. I’m sickened. That poor squirrel probably still had so much life left in it. It probably had a squirrel family in its tree-home, and now its squirrel-children are going to wonder why their squirrel-parent isn’t coming back, and it’s because I just brutally murdered it with my monstrous human machinery and inadequate spatial awareness… A glance at my clock. How much time do I have left?
I drive on.
2. Uberman Saves The Grade
“Agh, no no no no no! I need to go!” I need to leave my house NOW if I want to get to class on time. I still have to drive a good ten minutes to get to Fouts, then spend another ten parking probably in the waaaaay back since I’m not early anymore, and then if I walk really hard, I might only be five minutes late. Five minutes won’t count against my attendance grade, right? Right?
“Right?” I mutter to myself, frowning, while I shove my shoes on violently and swipe my keys off the hook at the same time. I barrel out the door, slam it, wince at the rattling windows, try to lock my door, and fail twice. Parking is going to suck. I stop abruptly, take a deep breath, calmly lock my door, turn on my heel to speed-walk towards my car. Get in, turn the key, and nothing.
Wait, what? Nothing?
I try again. Nothing. Again. The starter clicks, but where’s the engine at? “Of course. Of-fucking-course my car isn’t working.” Fuck. What do I do? Hot anxious panic grabs hold of me, and I can’t think. What do I do? I’m going to miss class, and I can’t afford any absences right now. My grade is going to go down, and I’m still not going to make all the other classes I have after my first one today, and now I’m going to just fail the semester and and
Stop, stop. Calm down. Think. Use your brain for once, Jesus. Your car isn’t working, you’re running late, you can’t get a mechanic right this second, so what to do? I clutch my phone nervously, gnawing at my lip and looking around my interior wildly, when it comes to me. My phone. The Internet.
I call an Uber. He arrives in five minutes. His name is J-something. He drops me off at the Language building in exactly 11 minutes. I arrive at 9:30am on the dot. My grade is safe.
3. Don’t Drop the______
I was thirsty, so I pulled out a tall glass cup from my cup cabinet and filled it with lukewarm water out of the tap. I was tired, so I decided I’d rather sit while I drank and stared at some indeterminate point on the wall. I was walking towards the closest chair at the kitchen table when my hand slipped, and my cup fell to the floor. It shattered into a hundred thousand crystalline shards that rooted me to my spot and trapped me, paralyzed me in my little corner of the kitchen, unable to move because my bare feet might crunch on any number of needle-like slivers of translucent glass that now floated around invisibly in an expanding pool of lukewarm tap water. So I stood in my inch of space for what must have been forever and thought about my cup filled with water and how it slipped so slowly out of my hand and how I was unable to react in any way except to watch it inevitably crash to the floor and break and send infinite pieces flying out at the speed of sound into every vague corner imaginable, probably never to be totally swept up and thrown away, probably to remain scattered and hidden among the crumbs and dust only to be discovered when you step on them and suddenly feel the sharp, shooting pain of splintered glass sliding around inside your skin.
I thought about it for a minute more before I yelled towards my roommate across the house, “Hey! Can you get me the broom, please?”