The shoe-lace that snaps when there’s not enough time


I’m under a lot of pressure lately. And I have to be very careful I don’t snap.

Yesterday morning I had to make a crucial post on the internet. But my phone was dead. So I packed up my campsite and walked down to the campus to charge it. But when I looked in my backpack my battery charger wasn’t there. AARRGGHH!! I searched through everything in my pack but it was GONE!!

So I trudged all the way back up to the hills re-tracing my steps looking for it. By the time I got back up to my campsite I was soaked in sweat and dizzy in the head (we’re in the middle of a heat wave and it’s starting to get to me). I searched everywhere at my campsite but no sign of the thing. Finally I dumped out all my blankets from the garbage bag that I stash them in. And there it was. My charger. Whew! Somehow it had gotten mixed in with my blankets.

So then I go downtown to get some coffee. Walk into the deli on Shattuck where I usually get my coffee. But they’re out of coffee. AAARRGGHH!! So I have to walk 3 blocks out of my way to this Kwiki Mart to get my coffee. Pour myself a large cup, pay for it, walk out the door, notice my cup has a leak in it. Piping hot coffee is leaking all over my hand. Stomp back into the Kwiki Mart. Inform the clerk: “MY CUP HAS A LEAK!” Pour the coffee into a fresh cup. But that cup has a leak TOO!! Big puddles of coffee are forming on the counter. So I pour that cup into my canister, burning my hands on the hot coffee in the process. Mop up the mess with a bunch of paper towels and stomp out of there.

I’m reminded of a Bukowski poem. “It’s not the big things that drive a man to the madhouse. But the shoe-lace that snaps when there’s not enough time.”

And that’s what my life is like lately. This endless series of shoe-laces snapping. Little aggravations that somehow build up into this big thing. “MY LIFE JUST SUCKS!! AND I CAN’T STAND IT ANYMORE!! That feeling. Sometimes it can seem like the entire Universe is conspiring against me and thwarting me at every turn. And the pressure can drive you nuts.


So then I go to the Dollar Tree to buy some cat food. For once there’s nobody on line ahead of me. So I put my cat food down on the counter. But the clerk says: “I’m sorry my register is closed. But she can help you at the next register.” So I pick up my cat food and walk over there. But before I can get there this little old man with a shopping cart FULL of groceries who just happened to be passing by at that moment, cuts in front of me and heads to the register ahead of me. AAARRGGHH!!!

I don’t know if it was the looks-could-kill glare I shot at him, but he wisely turned to me and said, “You can go ahead of me. You were here first.” And I said to him (through clenched teeth) “THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SIR.”

The good news is, I haven’t snapped yet. But I’m working on it.

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