Yeah… it’s that kind of day


The following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try to give all of the material posted on this site.

I always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more than 50,000 words by the end of November.

Thank you.

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As I try to get moving this morning, the world seems stacked against me.

Molly wants to go out… Gus most certainly does not.

It’s windy and cold and rainy outside, and I need to get some things settled quickly so that I can head in to work.

On the highway… which represents the first half of my journey… I notice that the lights seem to be dimming in the car.

It’s a strange thing to try and explain. Daylight is clearly around… but with the rain falling, I do have my headlights on. And while I can’t prove it, it sure seems like the numbers on the radio and the areas of the dashboard are getting dimmer and darker.

The wipers seem to be slowing as well.


The airbag light and brake light and battery light come on… and then go off.

Not good.

The second half of my journey to work involves some back roads. And my hope has become simple… get to work. That’s kind of a stabilizing idea. Being at work does nothing for me and my ultimate problem. It’s in exactly the opposite direction of the service station we use for our automotive needs. But it will be dry and warm and there is food there. (You know… pretty much the exact opposite of a rainy day on a back road in the middle of nowhere once the battery and electrical systems of your car go kaput.)

The shorter version of the story is kaput the electrical systems went. Tow truck… wife called to pick me up… late for work for the very first time (after more than two decades there… and honestly, I can’t recall ever being late for work at any time before).

It’s a lovely day.

But honestly… isn’t every day?

We all face our challenges, whether big or small. Granted, being stranded on the side of a road on a rainy day is slightly more aggravating a challenge than deciding what to order for lunch during a visit to the Magic Kingdom. (You know… sure… just slightly.) And, being stranded on the side of the road in 2013, with a cell phone that is fully charged and has some games installed… makes things significantly easier than being stranded on a rainy day four or five miles from anything in, say, 1994, with a long and wet and annoying walk developing for the near future.

The thing is… I’m not trying to write some inspirational piece here. This isn’t about overcoming obstacles… it isn’t a competition to see what makes the absolute worst day possible… and it isn’t about recognizing the sweet from the sour, or some mishmash of similar intent.


Instead this is just about how plans go haywire.

My day… my to do list… my schedule… my whatever… did not include phone calls to AAA or a service station when it was originally set out before me as a plan. It didn’t include shoes covered in mud from walking around to raise the hood of a car that have come to a stop in the dirt on the side of a road. It didn’t include a “please come and get me” request.

And yet, as we know, the sun rose on Wednesday. And, as I finish this rough draft up, the sun has set and Thursday is looming.

My plans for a weekend have been adjusted to include checking on that car as it goes through some likely repairs. And some of the free time that had been tentatively looked at for writing will now be used for some other odds and ends.

Not sure what any of that means.

I can tell you this though.

It certainly does seem like things multiply.

When I wake up in the morning, run around a bit, and end up with my feet freezing… well… they never get warm. At all.

That’s a slight exaggeration, but the point is simple. Once I’m off balance in the morning, nothing feels quite right that entire day.

(You know those people that claim they don’t wake up until after the first cup of coffee? Similar concept.)

When something isn’t right, everything can feel wrong.

The car died.

So… naturally… my suit felt damp… and I felt rushed since I needed to call my wife for a ride home, and wanted everything done for the day and in place so my “I’m ready” phone call would be accurate and I would actually be ready.

Nothing fell into the appropriate places for the day. Nothing felt right. Everything was off. Even long after I had confirmed the car was at the shop, and my work day was back on track so everything would get done, and my socks had dried out.

A few months from now, this day will be in the rear view mirror. It might be etched into some long lasting idea… the car from this morning is older, and has over two hundred thousand miles on it. Perhaps this is the first of a few things that need to be checked? Maybe it will be back in a few days and ready to go for another hundred thousand without much effort.

But I’ll be faced with another sunset… and another sunrise. It’s that fabled promise of a new day. Some things will go wrong… some things will go right… and in the end, it’s another day to be enjoyed.

I’m still just not sure what any of that means.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at