Running Late

I surprised myself this morning when the sound of my husband’s alarm (not mine) started screaming at 6:30am. My alarm goes off every morning at 5:45am and I can usually snooze a couple of times before finally rolling out of bed around 6:00am, but even now I can not remember my alarm sounding its usually church bells, despite my vivid memory of setting it last night. On every other ordinary morning (not this morning of course), I can get out of bed at 6:00am and be showered, dressed, and prettied by 6:25am in time to take Cali to the bathroom. Then I am ready to go at 6:30am and arrive at work between 7:05am – 7:15am. My work day is officially from 7:30am to 4:30pm. These hours allow me to miss traffic both ways and live a sane life with only a little over an hour on the road—round trip—every single day. I know some people in Los Angeles that spend hours on their morning commute alone. I am one of the lucky ones that work in the city with a bearable commute from a nice neighborhood 25 miles outside of the city.

Well, this morning I surprised myself with how fast I could still do my whole routine (minus taking Cali pee) and still make it to work at 7:26am. When I heard Ryan’s alarm, I was in the nicest, deepest sleep I could have possibly felt, then one split second later, panic filled my entire being, “Shit!” I scrambled out of bed as Ryan sleepily asked what was wrong. “It’s 6:30!” I said in a loud whisper as I swiftly headed into the bathroom where I turned on the shower, went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth, all kind of at the same time. I heard Cali jump off the bed and sniff under the bathroom door—not a good sign, but I had to ignore her urge to pee and hope that sleepy boy would help me out.

I hopped into the cold water, unwilling to wait for it to warm and quickly shampooed, conditioned, rinsed and hopped out. I bet I was not in the shower for more than 90 seconds, but it felt like a lifetime. I looked at my face in the mirror as I quickly dried off and slipped on my robe: sleep was all over my pale cheeks, haunting my tired eyes and pillow creases were incredibly visible. I continued with my normal ritual after putting my hair in a towel-turban: contacts, face cream, eye liner, hang up towel, comb some mousse though wet hair. As I sprinted from one bathroom to the next, Ryan said, “I’ll take Cali…” I cut him off before he could finish, “Thank you!”

The blow-drying was completed quickly. I must say I am lucky to have such an easy hair-do these days where I can take about 45 seconds to get it completely dry without any cow-licks doing crazy things. I slapped on some pomade, hair-spray and blush then booked it for the bedroom to get dressed. This entire time while I was rushing to get pretty, I had been reviewing in my mind the catalogue of all the clothes I own to try and put my finger on what I would wear that would not require an iron or Downy wrinkle-releaser. I also was not in the mood for a thong so I had a lot of criteria to meet before I finally landed on the pants and shoes I am now wearing. The shirt I decided on was staring me in the face when I got in my closet and actually matched the pants so I was able to continue the rapid movement through my routine. I threw on some earrings, a necklace, wedding ring and some deodorant. But my hands were so swollen from the constant movement from cold to warm to cold temperatures, that I could not slide it past my knuckle.

Leaving the ring half-way down my finger, I headed for the bedroom door and that is when Cali stood up, did her slow, elongated stretch over Ryan’s legs and made her way to the edge of the bed. In her mind, this was the time in my routine when I would coax her out of bed and take her to the bathroom. I am sure she felt really good about herself because I did not have to beg her to get up. She was ready to go and probably had to pee pretty bad if she was getting up on her own terms. I felt bad holding her on the bed until Ryan reached up and pulled her to him, “No Cali, you stay.” She looked so confused.

My heels clip-clopped down the stairs, I grabbed my purse, keys and phone off the charger and I was off. I have a GPS in my car and as I drove, I tapped the touch screen to get my work destination up so that it could calculate what time I would be there. This would help me decide which exit to take on the freeway, and if I ended up being late, I would know in advance by how many minutes and could prepare a suitable excuse. My boss does not get in until 8:00am, but his boss gets in at 6:30am so he always knows what time I show up. Ten minutes later, after hitting the freeway, I was sitting in traffic that was not moving and I was still about 18 miles away from work.

I could see yellow lights flashing up ahead as a tow truck made its way from the left shoulder to the right three lanes to hook up some teenager’s truck that he had just crashed into another car, my guess would be merely minutes ago. Traffic started to crawled to the scene and being the concerned drivers that we are here in Los Angeles, everyone slowed more than was necessary to check out the accident and make sure no one was hurt—when in reality we are all looking for blood. We are a sick group of people and I am usually very interested in seeing some carnage as well: it is like a train wreck, you just can not look away. But today, I was in no way interested. As I finally got my chance to pass the scene of the accident that is when I saw the driver of the truck, no more than 16 or 17 years old…he was standing on the side of the road, smoking, talking on his cell phone. I silently cursed him.

As soon as we passed the wreckage, which should not have taken up all three right lanes, traffic was flying and I made it to work with four minutes to spare.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 10:03 am and is filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Running Late”

  1. Lisa says:

    Hi Nicki,
    I enjoyed this blog greatly! It takes me 20 minutes to get to work, whether I take the main road or the dirt back road. I rather take the back road, as it’s more relaxing. I am now in the groove of playing Mozart on my way to and from work (which I’m sure you will understand why.) Do you miss the country scenery?
    Aunt Lisa

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