Sat on this for two days now. Welcome to a day in the life of Colton.
In this day of my life, I actually get a (ahem) “cafe mocha” *snotty french accent.
Coffee, food and books- the holy trinity!
I walk into Starbucks an hour ahead of my meeting-
Wait, wait, back up.
Mom drops me off on the corner… -wait! Wait!
I drive like a maniac at 5:45am to make it back home.
The day begins when I jack-knife out of bed at my parent’s house at 5am and realize I need to drive 3 hrs to get home ASAP. I’m supposed to meet up with my friend -whom I haven’t seen in a year- and grab a quick coffee and gab before she goes back to her home 4-5 hrs away.
(Yes, I see the driving trend).
Her story isn’t mine to tell- suffice to say she’s a dear friend and was my supervisor of 2 years before she moved on to a better environment and a way better job. Super happy for her! But I don’t see her a lot, what with our conflicting schedules.
We’ve stayed in touch electronically and in a matter of…46 minutes we’ll be chatting face-to-face.
Back to 5 am -I rip out of bed, jam into clothes and rush to get my laundry out the wash machine (the one at my house doesn’t work anymore- long story short). Then I rush to my parent’s room -“we need to GO NOW!”- then rush to pack everything into my Mom’s car.
Dad, bless his heart, decides that now would be a good time to switch out the winter tires on the car (don’t ask! I was almost furious he asked after he had all week to do that…).
“No! We don’t have time!” I informed the messenger -Mom. “I need to leave, like Now.”
After brushing my teeth I dash outside at 5:30am… to find my Dad swapping out the tires.
Long story short, he only gets to swap out 1 tire out of 4 before I race out the driveway, Mom (and prayer) in tow, at 5:45am.
I love my Mom, I really do. I just wish she’d remember I’ve been driving for a LONG time.
…Driving peacefully down the street. I can see Mom nodding off in the passenger seat. The fog blankets the forest and road with an ethereal white fuzz. I wouldn’t be surprised if a unicorn trotted out of the woods and tilted it’s top hat in my-
“Look out!!” Mom screeches.
I jerk in my seat, the steering wheel zigzaggings the car in our lane as I get my reacting arms back into the correct alignment. The off-balance tires squeal with disapproval.
My eyes dart around. “What! What is it?!” Don’t tell me I hit a squirrel?!
She twists around in her seat. “There was a pothole back there…”she trails off.
What I wanted to say: “Blimey, woman, are ya daft!!!!!” *in strong Irish lilt. Or Australian accent. Either one).
What I actually said: “Thanks… that’s why I went around it…”
…<3 U Mom…
After putting my beating heart BACK into my chest and out of my throat, we continue driving at a swift pace, trimming down the 3 hr drive to 2.5 hrs. No, I didn’t have to speed -I saw at Least 7 police cars on the highway, one that actually pulled someone over as we drove past (opposite lane). I also saw enough deer to comprise a 14 deer herd. One trotted halfway across the highway, started walking in the next lane, turned a circle, then noticed the car slowly approaching and sassily finished crossing the last lane of 4.
Ballsy doe, that’s all I’m saying.
Kamikaze birds swoop-dive mere inches away from the windshield. At first they’re mainly crows and ravens, then there are robins, gold finches, blackbirds (?), and a…homing pigeon?
Am I in the twilight zone? What’s with all the birds?
Higher up, between the gaps in the trees, a raven surrounded by smaller birds slowly flaps in a loosely formatted flock of other ravens. These other ravens keep their distance as the small birds circle the one unlucky raven that must have flown too close to the little birds’ young. That’s the only thing that would explain why their smaller, faster bodies are busy pecking at the larger bird that just can’t seem to get away…
“I always like when the little birds attack the larger birds to protect their nest,” Mom abruptly shatters the illusion that she’s fast asleep. “That’ll teach him.”
Yeah, but what about the poor raven? Those little birds can be vindictive and chase them for miles. Who’s the bully then?
That was 6:34 am.
2 hours later, we stop at Wegmans so I can grab groceries and Mom can grab an -organic, non-gmo, blessed-by-the-holy-father, open-range, ingredients-raised-with-love- snack. I grab hemp milk (surprisingly delicious and high in protein aka omega 3 & 6), a watermelon, chocolate-mint bars (delish!!), and zevia soda (all 4 flavors).
I finally get home and unload everything, take a shower, get my hair back to its faux-hawk (wet, comb, oil, and slick down the fly-aways!) and head to Starbucks.
Mom drops me off on the corner and I lose my illusion of vehicular freedom as she drives her car away. I head inside and wait in line.
Hmm, do I want a Mocha? It’s too cool right now for a Vanilla-Bean Creme Frappuccino… wait, what’s a Cafe mocha? A Mocha with coffee? I thought all mochas had coffee in them…
Then it’s suddenly my turn.
The strawberry blond woman (damn, nice color!) at the register smiles. “I’ll be right with you Miss!”she sings out as she dashes off to make a…sandwich?
Actually, that’s Sir… or Mr… ehhh whatever.
I look down at my red t-shirt and burgandy shorts. Not guy enough? I’ll bet it’s my face, my round, round face…
“Alright, what can I get you?”
“Um, I’ll have the cafe mocha with soy please.” I fish out my leather wallet and wait for the +60 cents to go through.
“Sure! What size?”
“Medium.” I’ll be damned if I bother figure out what the ‘native lingo’ for medium is.
“Alrighty…meeediumm,” she fishes out the cardboard cup and scribbles on the side.
Ohh-kay, any minute now…
“What’s your name?” The strawberry-blond wafer looks at me, marker poised to write.
I hesitate, and push out “Colton.”
She didn’t even blink. “Okay, that’s $5.24.”
I fish out cash. “Can I have a receipt please?”
“Sure! …Here’s your change and your receipt.”
“Thanks.” I shuffle to the pick-up area, mentally chastising myself for hesitating. It’s not like it’s the first time I gave my name to get beverages, why the nerves now? I wonder if they spelled it right this time.
Then I think, why am I only Colton on the weekends? I am only able to be myself on the weekends… that sucks!
I wait a few minutes and “Soy -cafe-mocha for Colten?”
Ahh, still can’t spell it right. At least it’s a -ten… hmm, -ten versus -ton… 10/10?
“Thanks,” I smile and grab my drink, wandering over to the table where I am currently typing.
But why just on weekends? I might just stroll in one day into work wearing a dress shirt tucked into masculine pants (POCKETS, Hallelujah!!) sans tie and just act like normal. I wouldn’t be the first “woman” to cross dress in my office so there is precedent.
But it’s not worth it in the end. I’m worth it, but they aren’t.
To explain, I’ve got bigger fish to fry at the moment. And I’m approaching a transition point of life. I may be looking for employment soon (“…budget cuts. You understand, of course…”) and on the list of priorities, being my true self to soon-to-be-strangers isn’t something I’m worried about right now.
Priority 1 – income.
3 Hours Later
“HEYYYYY!!!” I go in for the full contact hugs that only friends are “permitted” to have.
“Wow, I love this look. And your hair… I think this look is perfect for you.”
“Thanks!” I gain a little boost inside –Good instincts Colton!
“Are you thinking of shaving it? I think you should!”
“Ahh,” I scramble. “I’m definitely thinking about it, but my Mom nearly killed me when I mentioned it… I’m working up the nerve,” I finish lamely.
“I think you should, it’d look great to do a fade on the sides and back, then shave some lines on the sides-”
“Yeah!!! I definitely want to do some line etches!” I exclaim, tracing out the pattern on the side of my head where my hair is pulled tight into a bun in the back. The top hair is left in a square-shaped faux hawk.
“You should have A do it, he’s the barber on X street. Don’t go to a salon, go to a barber shop and get it done. And get A, not his cousin, he fucks up people’s hair cuts.”
“For sure!!” I say, a smile on my face. Ha-ha, wouldn’t be caught dead in a salon anyway… “Once I commit, I’ll for sure send you pictures.”
“That’s right! Just do it, take a photo and send it to me, be like ‘Did it!'”
I grin, mentally envisioning the moment. “For sure! Will do!”
After my meeting, I wander around downtown. Wonder if anything is open on a Sunday before 12 pm…
I pass the bars, some restaurants, and 3 gentlemen suit stores. Note to self, stop by and figure out fittings for my suit… CanNOT show up at my friend’s wedding in shorts and a T-shirt, she made that very clear…
I almost walk past it, but my eye manage to disengage from the (empty) pizza store and spy the small used bookstore.
JACKPOT!!!! *Angels singing + harps playing
No, no, wait. I’m mostly on kindle, I shouldn’t bother. Yet my feet aren’t listening and the couple walking out the door are so nicely holding the door for me –ahh fuck it! I’m going in!
It’s a medium size store, that would fit easily inside 25% of any Barnes & Nobles (it’d fit in the video/MP3/vinyl record section alone). There are 2 main rows towards the middle and left sides of the store, not including all the books on the shelves on every wall; yea verily, to the very ceilings thereof.
On the right, on the main floor, there are square tables “SALES” on the table stand signs, and behind them are a set of stairs leading up to a mezzanine.
I wonder what’s up there- Sales? Come to daddy!!
I zip right over and start browsing. The Secret? Hmm, what is the secret… Ooo, Abraham Lincoln, I can definitely get these… And before I know it I’m forking up almost $40 at the register for six books.
Avg. $6 each -but it’s worth it? Damn these impulsive purchases! There’s the inner accountant… Debbie downer 2,000.
Sure, I could have bought these online, I reason. They’re used, but this was way more fun!
I head outside and the sun and wind continue to fight over what temperature it’s really going to be today. Almost too cold for short-sleeves.. Wait, isn’t that Ethiopian Restaurant around here?
I head to the restaurant for lunch. I’ve heard great reviews about the food and such…
Sadly, I should have checked into their vegetarian cuisine…
I will say, the beef is to die for- or so my fellow diners agree. I had to tell the really nice waiter that it wasn’t working after he brought me an appetizer and main. The flavor was okay, but it was all served on this sour flat bread which my stomach read as -are you seriously trying to feed yourself spoiled milk?– no matter how I tried to convince my tummy that the bread was born that way…
So instead I go to the local Indian restaurant-
“Would you like the all-you-can-eat buffet for $10?”
And I am good, only one plate full of jasmine rice, and various cauliflower +potato and curry stew all over it, topped with naan bread and this fried triangular dough filled with potato that was absolutely delicious.
So I’m eating with one hand, and reading blog articles with the other -trying not to get food on my phone… Dopeness!!!
(I’m really happy when I eat ->which can be a problem for emotional eaters).
“How was your meal?” the matronly ethnic woman at the register asks as I belly up to the register.
“DELICIOUS as always!” I groan. She smiles and prints off my receipt.
I even tip, I am so happy (okay, don’t crucify me! I tip for good food and good service but tips don’t typically happen at a serve-yourself buffet lunch IMHO).
I grab a bus and head home. No movies today. I’m exHAUSTED.
But I have vacation till Wed, so this isn’t a problem at all. 😀
And thus ends my day. Or does it? dun, dun, DUNNNNNN!!!!