baa baa black sheep

4.13.2006

Morning

9:44 a.m.

Maybe poetry now is just a metered way of observing. Maybe a good deal of what's left to say is just observation. Maybe this time period will be remembered for our fevered recording of everything.

Today my morning office-mate and I talked seriously about the pros and cons of exit exams and laughingly about the best way to wash a dog. We discussed our vague weekend plans, then warmly wished that the other would have a nice little vacation. Smiles, and "See you Tuesday!" She left.

Three and a half hours earlier, I exchanged the same pleasantries I do every morning with the copy secretary. I see her when I clock in and clock out. 7:28 a.m. and 2:58 p.m. The copy machine was broken again. It only staples every 10-15 copies.

Ten minutes earlier, as I approached the school building, I noticed a group of kids surrounding some small object on the sidewalk. They were laughing and stomping at it, and finally exclaimed, "Ewwww!" after a particularly satisfying stomp. They scattered, running and giggling and punching each other. When I finally reached the mystery object, I realized it was a lonely tube of blue-ish purple sparkly lip gloss that had exploded after that final fatal stomp. It shimmered dully in the thin morning sun. Thick and frosting-like, it reminded me of the word "guts". And the word "innards."

Before that, at the gas station, I paid the cashier, a nervous girl wearing a sweater, black wool peacoat, and a dirty yellow stocking cap, her messy pigtails limply hanging out of it. It will be in the seventies today, and sunny. As she rang up my three gallons of fuel, she kept glancing at my i.d. badge and her whole body jiggled nervously. The title on my i.d. badge says, "Secretary." My title on work documents ranges from "Coordinator" to "Specialist."

Five minutes earlier, at a stoplight, I pulled up behind a young man on a bicycle. He was wearing baggy shorts and a huge red knitted cap that said "WISCONSIN", with an equally huge button pinned to the back of it. He kept turning around and looking at me, peering over a large backpack, his mouth slightly open. He had a loose, unwashed face. When the light changed and we started moving, I noticed he used proper turn signals.

Ten minutes before that, I sat on the side of the bed by a sleeping Justin, and kissed his cheek, smelling the warm humid familiar scent of his body in bed, then got up and closed the bedroom door behind me.

Five minutes before that, I dug through the closet to change my clothes because I realized my skirt was wrinkled and didn't have time to iron. I needed to leave early to get gas. I put on the most non-wrinkled bottom available--the jeans I wore yesterday, pulled off the floor. I debated trying to get them on over my shoes, but ended up kicking the shoes off first. Shoes rarely fit through pants legs.

Forty minutes earlier, in the shower, I cut my knee while shaving my right leg. I shaved because I wanted to wear a skirt. I watched the watery blood trickle out for a few seconds, pink and lazy and non-threatening, then rinsed it off and continued shaving. I noticed maybe we should buy some Drano.

Two hours before that, I had a nightmare about the present state of the church in this country. Lindsey was in it, and my sister, and my aunts.

An hour before that, Justin pulled me against him and whispered sleepily, "I love you, Kara."

Six hours ealier, I read this: "(My personality type)...may feel quite lonely even when surrounded by people. This feeling of aloneness may be exacerbated by the tendency to not reveal their true selves." And had a good cry.

Or two.

And felt better.

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