One of those days…

I had such plans for this evening. First I was going to do a vigorous hour of Tae-bo (the classic advanced tape for those of you who are familiar with Billy Blank and his Tae-bo-ing ways), followed by a light and healthful dinner. And then, invigorated, I would come up with some upbeat and witty post to do with writing and then work on my book. The TV would be ignored; I’d find appropriate music instead. Y’know, something upbeat and wit inspiring.

So far I’ve had a light and healthful dinner (chicken apple sausage and tomato sauteed in a little olive oil and herbs and one vegan chocolate chip cookie for dessert), but the rest of it went out the window after what had to be the worst ride on the Muni I’ve had in my three plus years as a San Franciscan. I’d already had a crappy day at work. No real reason, nothing major. Just a lot of little irritations coupled with low energy that made for an exceptionally cranky Dana. I tried the gratitude game (when you actively list what you’re grateful for, which, in my case, includes having a decent job that pays well, with co-workers who I don’t normally want to kill), but couldn’t get past ‘I’m grateful I haven’t killed anyone today.’

Fine. The work day is over and I know Dave will have moved the living room furniture to accommodate Tae-bo, the cat boxes will be cleaned and all I have to do is get home to unwind by punching the crap out of the air and kicking a few imaginary enemies while Billy calls out his enthusiastic encouragement. Even better, the copies of Murder for Hire have arrived from my publisher in time for next week’s library panel, so I’ve packed them into a handy dandy little ‘bag lady’ shopping cart for the Muni ride home. It seems like it should be so easy… just a 45 minute train ride between me and my evening.


When I got to the train platform, it was unusually crowded for 4:00. Not a good sign. When the L train showed, it was a single instead of a double train. Another very bad sign. By the time I manuevered my heavy shopping cart through the crowd and into the train, the seats were all taken, except for one next to the window. This seat was a: blocked by a skanky fellow who reeked of booze and looked like an eccentric college professor down on his luck and b: not one I could take anyway because of my cart.  I’d seen the guy before; he lived in our neighborhood. One of those not quite homeless, but not quite sane people who seem to populate the Muni. He saw me trying to keep my cart from rolling into fellow passengers while I held onto a seat with my other hand to avoid tumbling headlong into the aisle, but the thought of moving didn’t occur to him. Or rather, it did, but he didn’t care. My cart rolled into his foot and nudged it; he gave it and me a nasty look and took another swig from an unlabeled plastic bottle. Normally I’d have apologized, but as it was I had to restrain myself from rolling the cart into him on purpose. I was having serious Muni rage issues.

Now I don’t like getting this angry. I have a definite streak of temper that has been known to go into berserker rage with the right (or wrong) provocation. Getting jostled by the increasing crowds at each stop didn’t help the irrational anger. Neither did the stink of bologna wafting over from a man next to me. The muscles in my legs, back and arms were trembling with the effort of keeping the cart from going on a rampage and myself in one spot. My head started aching and all the irritations of the day coalesced into a hard little knot in the center of my chest. I wanted to kill.

The train finally cleared out enough for me to sit for the last five minutes of my ride. Skanky Professor Booze Man got out two exits before me and gave my cart a hard, deliberate kick when he stood up, driving it into my shin. I have never had to stomp down on a urge to maim someone as hard as I did today, folks. The red is still slowly eking out of my vision and this is after a foot rub, dinner and four cats purring on or around my lap.

By the time I dragged myself and my book laden cart up the slight hill to the house, I was wiped out. Tae-bo? Hah. My legs weren’t having it. Dave greeted me and all I could do was whimper, ‘I had a bad day. I don’t feel good!’ and start bawling like a five year old. The foot rub followed shortly after that; the man has finely honed survival instincts along with a generous nature.

Now I’m sprawled out on the couch, sipping a glass of Chilean carmenere, enjoying another cheesy movie (Night of Dark Shadows starring a VERY young Kate Jackson).

I’ve given myself permission to take the night off of everything but the blog challenge. I’m hoping my mood, attitude and temper improve for tomorrow…although if I see the Nutty Professor on the Muni, I’m not making any promises.

15 thoughts on “One of those days…

  1. I truly believe life hands you HUGE Stop signs.
    For instance you get really sick and have to stay in bed all day. You pull a muscle or you come home from a crappy day and need a glass of wine and foot rub.
    Here’s to a better day today.

  2. Ahh, Dana, if I were there, I’d give you a hug.

    I think you should have fun and totally screw with Nutty Professor. Do something that will mess with his head like smile then turn your back on him next time you see him. Nothing to invite him into your space, but to make him thinking you’re plotting. Although, frankly, by the next time you see him, he will have totally forgotten about what he did.

  3. What better catharsis for a diurnal episode of exasperation and muni-enraged homicidal tendencies than to pen a witty and humorous post in which you can slay all your persecutors in thought and word! I really enjoyed this sharing, Dana. Since you had such an irrepressible urge to kick someone, know that I indeed got a great kick out of it – LOL

  4. Yeah some days it’s best to just kick back. Now we know why writers like to stay home and be hermits, just them and the computer. ha! (Kiddding!)

  5. Thank you, everyone, for your sympathy, cyber hugs and the fact my post made Marvin laugh. At least I know the bad day ‘weren’t in vain’ (to misquote Jean Hagen in SINGING IN THE RAIN).

    seriously, though, when I’m in a mood like that, it’s better for everyone if I DO play hermit at home.

  6. Okay, I live on a different planet. Explain that baglady cart. Why’d you have it on the train with you?? And I was just thinking of you blissfully typing away on your Alphie, not managing cart corrals in moving vehicles. What’s that about?


  7. Dana, Bless your heart. Know that you made me feel better for living in the woods with the snakes and chiggers and an occasional possum who thinks he should come in with the cat. We all have our cross to bear, let’s just hope that yours lightens up quickly. I would have killed that guy and tossed him off the train, but that’s just me.

  8. Ah, Dani, I normally don’t tout a baglady cart around with me, but every now and again when I get something delivered to the office or want to stop at the pet food store on my way home, I use it rather than lug heavy items and hurt my back. Normally I have a seat and just rest it in front of me, but the train was jam packed this time around. I had a box of my books to get home, y’see…

    Velda, you are a woman after my own heart. I’d rather deal with snakes (not chiggers) than crazy Muni people. Throw Professor Skanky Off the Train!

  9. I’m so sorry you had such a yucky day. Give yourself five gold stars and as many pats on the back for not ‘helping’ the drunk off the train. Here’s hopping tomorrow is better – much better.

  10. I thought you wrote murder mysteries just so you could kill off folks like that (or at least their proxy in book form)

  11. Five gold stars, a glass of good wine and a clean conscience! Thank you, Charlotte!

    Yes, Dave, that is one of the reasons to write mysteries. Footrubs will guarantee I don’t write about killing YOU off one of these days. 🙂

  12. You canNOT kill a man who gives you foot rubs – it’s bad bad karma.

    dave, you just give a holler if she comes at you wielding a knife. I’ll have SuperWombats there quick as a wink!

    Cruddy days suck.

  13. I agree, Judi. Although i can’t guarantee I won’t be knife wielding…or sword wielding…’cause fencing is what we do for fun!
    Super Wombats…heeeee….

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