July 2, 2003

I don't feel like going to work today, I tell David in the car this morning.

"How about if we play hooky?" I suggest hopefully. It's not too late: we're not even halfway to my office yet. I've got my cell phone in my purse. We could pull off the freeway, right now, and call in 'sick' (or 'busy,' or 'horny,' or 'not interested in wasting the next nine hours of our lives on a bunch of stoopid demeaning mind-numbing crap that we'll just have to do all over again tomorrow'). Then we could go home and load the bikes into the back of the Subaru, and we could pick up some energy bars and some Gatorade at Walgreen's, and we could spend the morning riding from Crockett to Martinez and back. Afterwards we could stop for lunch at The Dead Fish ... maybe come back to the apartment, after that, and indulge in a long drooling afternoon nap.

"Maybe we could even squeeze in a game of 'Yahtzee,'" I say, winking suggestively. If sex doesn't sell the idea, nothing will.

But David isn't buying. He feels my pain, he says. He doesn't want to work today any more than *I* do. (If my current dissatisfaction with my job feels like the end of the honeymoon, his is like the middle-third of the bitter bloody protracted Divorce War.) Unfortunately, he points out, fulltime employment is one of the grim realities of our lives as a married couple right now. "We have to work," he reminds me, "so that one day we won't have to work."

Plus we're pulling into the Dirt Company parking lot, even as we speak. So it's all sort of a moot point anyway.

The parking lot is weirdly deserted for a Wednesday morning. Obviously a lot of other people have not only thought about playing hooky today (thereby jumping the gun on the upcoming Fourth of July weekend), they've actually followed through on the impulse. With a sigh, I reach into the back seat and begin gathering up my purse, my laptop, my library book, my little Tupperware container of cottage cheese and fruit. 

"Don't bother parking," I tell David. "You can just let me out at the back door." 

He pulls the Subaru up to the end of the row, next to the rear entrance, and idles there for a moment while I take a last peek in the mirror. When I'm ready to go, I reach over and give him a perfunctory kiss goodbye. "See you tonight," I say, and I grab the door handle and prepare to jump out of the car.

But he's not satisfied. "Give me a better kiss than that," he growls, laying a hand on my thigh. "We're not going to see each other for nine whole hours."

Smiling, I lean into him and offer up my lips for a nice, prolonged smoochfest. Maybe this morning isn't going to be a complete wash-out, after all. But just as our lips meet -- just as things start to get the littlest bit interesting -- there is a sudden horrific blast of noise behind us ... the sonic equivalent of the bucket of cold water on our ardor.


Astonished, we whirl around and look out the rear view window. There is an SUV on our bumper: one of those ridiculous, bloated monoliths the size of Mount Tamalpais. I recognize the driver: he works in the office next door to The Dirt Company. He's the guy I always see pounding on the elevator button, swearing at the water fountain, kicking the vending machine because it isn't dispensing his box of Milk Duds fast enough. Now he's got this entire vast deserted expanse of parking lot at his disposal ... and he's honking at us because we're blocking the parking spot he wants.

People suck.

"I guess I've got to go," I sigh. And I give David the Readers Digest Condensed Version of the goodbye kiss. (He'll have to wait till tonight to get the expanded version.) As I climb out of the Subaru -- "I love you," I say to him, with tender regret -- the SUV driver guns his engine impatiently a couple of times. The moment David pulls away, the SUV roars around me in a blaze of noisy/smelly/pissy glory and slides into the parking spot nearest the door. As he passes, I shoot him a look of unvarnished disgust. Why don't you just drive AROUND us, you ridiculous little fudkwit? I want to say to him.

Sorry about your tiny penis, I want to say to him.

Wouldn't it be great if this is the worst thing that happens to you today? I want to say to him: if you're forced to wait an extra four and a half seconds to dock your oil tanker while a husband kisses his wife goodbye?

But I don't say any such thing, of course. I don't say anything at all. Instead, I wave to David as he drives away ... I run my key card through the security scanner and let myself into the building ... and I head upstairs to forfeit another nine hours of my life to a bunch of stoopid demeaning mind-numbing crap that I'll just have to do all over again tomorrow.

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good luck on the driving test tomorrow, puss!