What Had Happened Was…

As a follow-up to my last blog post, I thought it would be a good idea to write about my new job! Let’s just start with this: it’s awesome. I miss my dream team, but it’s a great place to work.

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Lunch-time fun with the fam at work!

The only major issue is my insanely long commute. It feels like I’m taking the Oregon trail to the office every day. On the plus side, there are mad gun stores en route, so I could always shoot an oxen if I were ever stranded and starving. There’s also this random bike rental place in the middle of nowhere, which I’m pretty sure is meant as a courtesy in case your covered-wagon party of pioneers tips over in a stream and you’re dying of dysentery. Sometimes I’m tempted to park the car and rent a bike to get to work in one piece, meaning no more accidents. But, we have really great car and health insurance, which is awesome for me because otherwise I would have to trick myself out for a couple of Wellbutrin and a new fender. 

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I know you think I make this shit up…

Today began with a series of unfortunate events but turned into one of those ‘ain’t no body gonna bring me down’ kind of days. I feel like that’s a Tuesday thing for me, but that’s because I do weird shit, and weird shit always happens to me. It’s like the universe knows I’m inadvertently open to insanity. Either way, I thought it would be fun to fill you in on the details. Keep in mind that these are luxury problems, not real-life ones like famine or war or systemic racism. I’m just another privileged American bitching about privileged American bullshit.

I left my house early today, JUST in case there was traffic or something crazy (aka normal) happened during my two-hour commute. I took a bunch of remote back roads with no cell service and almost hit a turtle that was trying to cross the street. As I looked back in my rear-view mirror, the turtle in the road became smaller and smaller. Then, a truck almost ran him over. Of course, I had to turn around to help him out because there was no way in hell he was making it to the other side in one piece. As I walked to the middle of the street, a bus came pummeling around the corner, almost hitting me and the turtle. I wasn’t sure what kind of turtle he was, but I knew I had to move him. I reached down and said a silent prayer that he wasn’t the kind of turtle that would take off my finger. Fortunately, he wasn’t. I looked him up on the Google, and it turns out he’s a regular box turtle. It also turns out that they’re adorable.

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Terra the American Turtle

After I carried him to the other side of the street, I realized I would have to climb the world’s steepest embankment, overgrown with weeds and trees and ticks and who knows what the fuck else. So, naturally, I took off my blazer and scaled the muddy hill. Thank God I had a change of clothes in the car. I released the turtle on solid ground and slid back down the hill, covered in dirt and spurs. 

After saving the life of one lucky box turtle, I realized I was running out of time, and I still had to change clothes. I drove until I reached civilization and then pulled into a Royal Farms near Jarrettsville, MD. I parked the car behind a dumpster (rookie mistake) so I could quickly—and quietly—change into a new outfit. Just as I removed my pants, I heard a knock on my window. Hello officer. All of these thoughts were racing through my mind, like fuck me, I might be late for work on my second day, and holy shit he’s going to arrest me for indecent exposure, and I’ll have to register as a sex offender. But, then I rolled down my window, and he burst out laughing.

First thought: is he seriously laughing at my half-naked body? Second thought: maybe he’s overcome with joy at having met his monthly sex-offender quota. But, then I found out why he was actually laughing. You see, he and I had found ourselves in a similar situation once before—20 years ago. Between the laughter and the tears running down his face, he asked me if I remembered him. I didn’t remember him, at all, but here’s what he said, “I came over to see why you were parked behind the dumpster. You were bent down, so it looked like you were getting high. Then, I saw your face and realized what was going on.” I was still baffled by the whole thing and secretly hoping he had me confused with someone else. Judges don’t take kindly to second-time offenders.

But, then he refreshed my memory. His name is Sean, and we went to school together. It was my SECOND DAY (oh, the irony) at a new high school, and I had to change into my gym uniform. I was in a rush, mad dashing to the locker room so I wouldn’t be late. As I started removing my clothes, he walked in. I had, in my haste, entered the boy’s locker room and started stripping before I was caught by the exact same guy who was standing before me today. Now, a Harford County police officer, he said he remembered me as soon as he saw my “face”. Sean let me go, but warned me that changing clothes in public is never a good idea. Point taken. Twice. Some people never learn.

By the time I was back on the road, I was in the throes of a full-on panic attack. It seemed impossible that I would make it to work on time. And, I couldn’t use “A high school friend who also happens to be a cop caught me half-naked in a royal farms parking lot after I saved a turtle in the middle of the road and climbed a muddy hill” as an excuse. Even so, the GPS indicated that as long as I had no more mishaps, I would still make it to work on time. 

As I was nearing the end of my horrible awful shitty commute, I had to yield to oncoming traffic at a busy intersection. The lady in front of me was completely stopped, meaning she either can’t read or forgot what yield means. I was stuck sitting behind this lady, cursing at her under my breath—just saying some real mean awful stuff—when suddenly I felt a bang. Oh, yes. Another car hit me from behind. I just got my car back after an incident that was my fault, and less than a week later, I’m in another freaking accident. 

At that point I was so defeated; I called my boss and told him what happened. The car accident was a better excuse than turtles and partial nudity. It was an easy accident because the guy who hit me was very nice, and we have the same insurance. He gave me his information, admitted fault, and I was on my way. I even gave him a hug…to help make both of our days a little better. 

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This wagon is out of commission!

After the car accident, I got back in my vehicle and made my way to work. Somehow, someway, by the grace of God, I walked into that office at 8:30…not a minute early, not a minute late. I suppose I have a lot to be thankful for today. 

  1. I didn’t kill the turtle 
  2. No one else killed the turtle
  3. The bus didn’t run me over 
  4. My wagon didn’t tip over, and I didn’t die from dysentery
  5. I wasn’t arrested for indecent exposure
  6. That car accident was NOT my fault.
  7. I still got my ass to work on time today. 

I think I may be invincible. There’s no good way to end this post without a long, drawn out, moral-of-the-story conclusion, so I will just end it with this little gem.

I found a text message conversation that LB saved from a while ago…one that always makes me feel good whenever I re-read it. The screen shot is from her phone, so her texts are in blue and mine are in grey. Just in case you’re wondering which one of us has all the answers AND all the car accidents, it’s me. Everyone knows I’m the liability is in this relationship.

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…perfectly natural, perfectly normal. 

7 thoughts on “What Had Happened Was…

  1. You seriously could not make this shit up! What are the chances that Sean would be the one to find you half naked, AGAIN, this time in your car twenty years later?! Amazing. And oh man, was it ever that turtles lucky day, and yours for that matter, since that bus almost hurled you straight for the pearly gates. These are things you expect to happen to people over the course of a year, but you managed to save a life, almost get arrested and get in a car accident in a two-hour time span. And you STILL made it into work on time? You are a goddamn hero! And you are one hell of a storyteller, and I can’t tell you enough how much love reading your posts! Fantastic, Kristina!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! You’re so encouraging. I really appreciate it! I wish I had a cool name like Dennis the Menace. Lol. Some of my closest friends didn’t believe some of my stories until they spent time with me! Hahaha then it became pretty clear that if there’s trouble, I will find it!!! Lol…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly, your blog is one of my absolute favourites, and I am so glad I found it via our friend, Jenny. You are authentic, and never try to be anyone, but yourself and I really appreciate that about you. And I have a ton of respect for your openness about your dark places and the struggles you have with anxiety. That takes courage. And dammit, you are funny as hell! Soooo, yeah, you better keep your ass writing! Your stories are pure gold, and I have a feeling there are a lot more to come. Hope your commute tomorrow is totally uneventful…or-do-I? HA!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahahahahahaha well I’m lucky that you do read them. And, you’re one of the most beautiful blog writers I’ve ever read. I feel so strongly about speaking openly about generalized anxiety and panic, along with addiction. I think that’s because so many people feel ashamed to talk about their mental illnesses. I often hear people say, “You shouldn’t talk about your personal issues like anxiety at work.” But, I couldn’t disagree more. We wouldn’t be afraid to speak about Lupus or knee problems or cancer at work. What’s the difference? Hiding it is painful. Again, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much! Honestly, what a huge compliment to receive from you! And Kristina, I could not agree with you more. Nobody should ever feel ashamed, and it is voices like yours that help put an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Like you say, if our knee hurts or our bones grow cancer, people talk openly about it and even raise money and blah blah blah. But if our brains are a little bit broken? It’s totally fucking scandalous. Makes no sense at all. You never let anyone drown out your voice, and you keep saying whatever you want to whoever you want. Because it matters. So much.

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  2. Two days ago, I was leaving work and a baby bird was running back and forth across a narrow curve in the parking lot. I hit the brakes to miss it and noticed a van barreling toward me right at the little peeper. Of course I could not look away which caused me to run up on the curb leaving a lovely black tire mark with my name on it. The van missed me and missed the bird so of course I had to stop and get the poor thing out of the road. He was too small to hop the curb to safer ground. Do you know how fast baby birds are? I’m sure my hunched over Quasimodo jerk and turn running was perplexing to all the passing traffic. I finally cornered the critter and popped him into the grass where he bolted off without even a wave of thanks. Not sure if I did him any favors, but at least he won’t get hit by a car. I said all of that to say I understand why you rescued the turtle and I think that is incredibly awesome! You deserve a cape.

    Liked by 1 person

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