Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When The Bottom Falls Out

Because, let's face it, it often does.

No, this is not an essay on life...though it could be...and may still be...we'll see...but more an essay on what generally happens to me when I am moving swiftly through an already cram-packed day and suddenly get ambushed what? Fate, I guess?

I have a little Thanksgiving "thing" to go to tomorrow evening and was out looking for a little something to spice up the little black dress. So, I was in Wal-Mart. Yes. I go to Wal-Mart to spice up the little black dress. Get over it. Think what you will. Mostly just think how much better it is that I'm doing my shopping at Wal-Mart instead of, say, Ann Taylor where I could definitely do some damage. Lasting, permanent damage. Or Chico's. Aiieesh!! There were days long ago when I darkened those doors but I cannot now think why I ever did that other than perhaps because I could.

I digress.

The flipside benefit to shopping at Wal-Mart for wardrobe items is that you can also get your unhealthy Dr.Pepper fix there, too. So...

I got my little wardrobe agenda item crossed off and proceeded to the Dr.Pepper aisle where I picked up a 24-pack (there are quite a few D.P. drinkers at my house) by the handle and began to walk back to my cart when, promptly and quite spectacularly, the bottom fell out of the cardboard container like a reverse Jack-in-the-box.

Cans and cans and cans and endless cans of Dr.Pepper were liberated and went bouncing and erupting hither and yon about the soft drink aisle. I stood there stunned and mute holding what remained of the cardboard case while my mouth hung a bit askew.

There were not one, but three employees on the aisle already and all three leapt into action exclaiming all sorts of things at once--things one ought not to exclaim at work, perhaps--and pushing me around as they gathered cans and tried to aim the still-spurting ones away from the remaining customers and other items on the racks.

Spectacular. I. Mean. Awesome.

One of them probably realized that I was useless and, so, stuffed a new, healthy 24-pack into my arms and said, "Just go."

So I just went...

What a rush!!!! I should have done that YEARS AGO!!!! And maybe dropped them from a building!

It was even better than that tube of Desitin I stepped on that one time. A lot messier, though. My black shoes are going to need some work. They're leather and can't exactly be tossed in the washing machine...or can they?

And I'm not sure that there won't be a picture of me up in the soft drink aisle at Wal-Mart for the next ten years. So be it. I take my thrills where I can get them these days.

No, I am not taking this as a universal message to slow down. Pfft. I am, perhaps, suggesting that some things might fare better if they were NOT made from post-consumer products. Stone me, green people, go ahead...just sayin'. Recycled cardboard is all fine and good if the physics works out, but so far...hmmmm....

In real life, though, the bottom does fall out. Doesn't it? I would be lying if I said that the bottom hasn't fallen out in several areas over the last couple months. And when it fell out, it wasn't nearly so therapeutic as watching the explosion of 24 cans of Dr.Pepper. Nevertheless, the end result was the same. Pick up a new pack (to the extent that's possible) and "Just go." Go anywhere. Just don't sit here wallowing in it. Go. And go now.

Buddy, my dad, always has trouble executing plans. He finds formulating them to be easy. For me, it's just the opposite. I have trouble figuring out what the plan(s) should be, but once I have plans in place, I am the executioner--so-to-speak. I've been floundering for the last three plus weeks over what my plans should be. I had one over-arching plan and things seemed to be clicking with regard to that plan. Then the plan floundered and I knew I should continue with it, but it didn't seem sufficient on its own given a deadline further off in the distant future and I knew I needed something to do in the mean time to fill in the gaps. Then, slowly, other things started to fall apart and meaningful chunks of life were chipped away. That sucked. The bottom fell out. With a tad bit of fizzy eruptions here and there on my part.

Finally, someone came along and stuffed a 24-pack in my arms and said, "Just go." Once again, that person was Attrition. Sometimes I can't equate the encouragement and support he offers me with the wardrobe, friendship, and general professionalism consults I offer him. I guess rides to and from the airport may one day pay some of my debt of gratitude to him. I hope so. Something. Anything. Anything to demonstrate to him that there are little moments of time when he's the air in my lungs after weeks in outer space with no gear. I don't always understand him or the way he chooses to react to me, but in little bits I get to see the man he's become and the brother he's always been. He doesn't always have my back. He has his reasons. But he's always there with an idea about how to go on from here.

No matter where here may be.



  1. of the little black dress?

    p.s. You need to discover the therapeutic nature of a 1-lb bag of flour wrapped in a flaming rag tossed off 10-story tall grain elevator onto a large, concrete loading platform. It's a thing of beauty.

    p.p.s. Only do this if you can run like hell afterwards.

  2. You forget...I spend three days a week in the middle of nowhere. We have pretty effectively demonstrated that we could implode the house and no one would notice...1 lb bag, you say?

    And, alas, no pics (again, I know!)...but I got a "wow" from attrition...and a random comment about how it might look with a Harley Davidson jacket which I found odd coming from my brother, but let pass. Hmm...