I had one of those days on Friday…. Murphy loaded up with all the little hassles he could. You know Murphy… He lives in Washington DC…. (http://www.murphys-laws.com/murphy/murphy-laws.html) It kind of started on Thursday on the way to work. I ride a bike to work because my license expired…. I know, Murphy wasn’t in charge of that…. and vehicle problems, and it’s good exercise….. Anyway, on the way to work, my front tire started getting lower and lower and lower. I stopped to get some air in it, but the leak was too fast to make it to work. So, I pushed the bike to work and a co-worker gave me a ride home.
I had big plans for this weekend. I had hoped to get my license on Friday, rent a car, and get out of town. Hopefully to Colorado for a late summer/early fall trip. I also had a lunch meeting planned with the worship leader of the church I’m attending. I had been looking forward to the day for a few weeks. Since I had to get my check cashed and license taken care of before I could rent the car and my tire was flat, I got up early and walked the mile and a half to Walmart to get a new tire and tube. After a stop at Starbuck’s…. its on the way after all….. I left Wally’s world, with a jingle in my pocket and a skip in my step. Beautiful, cool, sunny day. Wonderful to be alive. A mile and a half back home, took the old tube and tire off, replaced them with the new ones and walked the bike up the hill to Seven-Eleven. I kept the front tire off the ground because I didn’t want to damage the tube by putting weight on the flat tire. Upon reaching the store, I started to take 75 cents out of my pocket to put in the air machine….. 75 cents for air……… However, I found that someone had stolen the end of the air hose so it coundn’t by used. I was pissed! What idiot steals one of those! Who’s the @$#^&***** that cares more about himself than how much time and hassle he is costing countless other people…. especially me! I was tired after the roughly 3 and a half mile walk and was now running late for my meeting, I wasn’t late yet, but would be. I called the guy, told him I would be late and apologized. He was great about it. So, I tried to figure where the closest station in the most direct route to the church would be. Remembering a tire shop on the way, I stopped in to ask if I could bum their air hose….
Aired up and on my way, I wheeled down the parking lot, and down the ramp to the bike/running/walking trail that follows Indian Creek. I turned onto the trail and as I started to go into the tunnel that goes under the main street of Olathe, I heard a “Pop!” and I was suddenly unable to stear and struggling to not go head-over-handle-bars. My new tire and tube had blown out…. After calling my friend to cancel lunch, I walked the half mile back to my apartment. I was wearing a dark brown, long sleave, button-up shirt with the sleaves rolled up, and my backpack with all-kinds-of-crap-that-I’m-sure-I’ll-someday-need-but-most-likely-won’t in it. It’s not too heavy, at least most days, but does make my back and shoulders sweat profusely especially after a 4 mile walk.
But I can still save the weekend if I can get to the license bureau and get the test taken, then get to the rental car place before too late. However, rather than going back to Wally world for another tube, I figured to walk to the bureau… about 2 miles. Deep breath. Ok… let’s git ‘er done…. we’re burnin’ daylight… and after a few other transparently red-neck phrases used after the trailer has fallen off the hitch, I started to walk.
Upon reaching the bureau, I started to open the door, and found a line which Walt Disney would’ve deemed daunting…. with two three-year-old boys waiting with their mothers as patiently as three-year-old boys can wait. So I stepped inside the door….just inside…. and hurried up and waited. Eventually, I was the head of the line and the guy called, “Next…” I ventured to his window and he took my information….
“Ok Mr. Williams, you’ll need to take a closed book, written test and a driver’s test….”
“Well, I can’t drive today, can I take the written part and get it out of the way?”
“Sure…… Uh…. Mr. Williams…. have you ever lived in Delaware?”
“Did you ever have a ticket there?”
“I don’t remember….”
” Did you live at ……………….?”
“Well, there is a hold on your license from there. I can’t go any further until that is taken care of.”
So, he gave me a phone number to call and I numbly walked outside. Taking the number out of my pocket, I called, was given the correct number I needed to call, and then called it….
“Mr. Williams, you had a ticket you paid in 2006, but there is also another $25 fee….”
I can’t pay it online or by phone. I have to mail it in, check or money order…..
So I hang up the phone, and…… begin to smile and shake my head. Looking to the left, I see a Subway and remember I am hungry. I have walked 6 miles… I’m hungry and sore and feeling old….so I need some nourishment. I ordered a “five dollar….five dollar footlong” (The song is in your head now isn’t it? Your welcome…) Just what I needed, and then a song began to pierce through the fog of fatigue….”Ya had a bad day….”(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hugp7Cz07Ds) My smile begins to grow….
So I leave Subway to w…..a……l……k home….. no car….. no trip…. no license….. no bike tire…… As I walk down down the sidewalk beside a grassy spot in front of a store……. the sprinklers come on……… and I just start to laugh! I HAD to… at some point Murphy just gets hilarious! Whaddya gonna do? It is a dark-humor laugh. A letting-off-stress laugh. I began to walk across the athletic fields surrounding my daughter’s high school, and watched the teams playing… working, but playing…. I then started walking the south end of the Indian Creek trail, and found a quiet spot with two benches backed by two trees. Sitting down, I noticed a memorial stone between the benches: “In Memory of Frank M. Keene…. Beloved Husband,Father, and Grandfather.” Thanks, Frank… Getting up from the bench after a couple of minutes, I heard a noise behind me and turned to see a kid with a sled with wheels on it and watched him body surf a playground behind an elementary school….. Cool!
You know, I started the day with plans I was excited about and was worried about whether I would have time to get it all done…. and didn’t get one of them done successfully….. But God found me and helped me return to the moment. I have to regroup, repair, replan…. It is what it is…. and it’s good.