This story begins as many stories do: with the fact that all weather men are liars. I had a week of sunshine promised to me, no precipitation of any sort and I was hopeful that perhaps we were on our way to Spring.
So when I left work last night and stepped into falling snow, I was not best pleased. It started to fall more heavily and the wind from the north picked up during the train portion of my commute. By the time I reached my station, things were looking close to blizzard-like. I hustled to the back of the lot and slipped into my car to start it warming up, drop my purse on the passenger seat and grab the brush to clear the windows of snow.
I always, always, always check the door to make sure I don’t lock myself out in cases like this. Or I leave it partially ajar, even though I’ve checked to make sure it’s not locked. I’m oddly paranoid about some things and this is one of them.
But last night, I scoffed at my own paranoia and didn’t check and didn’t leave the door ajar because, after all, in all the years I’ve been driving I have never once locked myself out of my own car.
So of course this was the one time I somehow managed to do so. In the middle of a fucking snowstorm. I checked all the doors but they were all locked – because although I don’t keep anything of value in my car, there’s no sense in inviting people to rummage through it.
My immediate thought was: Oh shit, where’s my phone?
A completely stupid thought since I was even then, at that moment, listening to music on my over-sized headphones that were plugged into my phone, which was in my jacket pocket. I was so relieved to recall that I had my phone, that I fumbled it out of my pocket and managed to drop it. I watched in horror as it hit the ground, the back popping off and the battery leaping out to land on the very wet asphalt with very wet snow spattering down on it.
Visions of having to walk home – while my car idled away in a parking lot – danced through my vision and I wondered how long it would take At to realize I hadn’t made it home and whether he would come looking for me if he called and I couldn’t answer because I’d just killed my phone by essentially dropping it in a puddle. I then briefly wondered if smashing a car window was a possibility.
Putting the phone back together, I tried to turn it on and waited in suspended terror while it took forever to come to life. Sighing in relief, I made for the bus shelter and called At, feeling more than a little sheepish as I did so. Because, you see, although I am also paranoid about making sure I turn my headlights off, I had managed to forget to do so a few weeks ago and had to call At to get him to come jumpstart me. I haven’t been doing well in the car department lately.
Fortunately, At answered and was able to come and rescue me. The minutes that I waited in the shelter were some of the longest of my whole day, shivering and freezing and slowly going numb in my extremities.
To further compound matters, I had had a last busy burst of work in the final minutes of my workday half an hour before and had foregone a much-needed bio break before leaving in favor of catching my train. You can imagine, I am sure, how much fun the extra wait in the blizzard proved to be with nature calling my name with some insistence.
When I finally got home, I was bedraggled and frozen and in a pretty big hurry. At was manfully trying to keep from laughing at me as I spilled my whole tale of woe and derp, but he couldn’t manage and frankly, neither could I.
My name is Alas and I am bad at commuting and am a terminal phone abuser (did I tell you all about the time a few weeks ago when I dropped it in a pot full of hot tomatillo sauce?). Keep your vehicles and phones away from me, for I am a menace.