Keeping My Eye on the Ball

Tuesday, April 4th, 2006, 4:46 pm

Depending on who you talk to, I usually have my head either in the clouds or up my ass. I daydream, I’m easily distracted, I’m not a methodical and regimented person. It takes all sorts to make a world, and this is just what I’m like. It’s not to the point where I have imaginary friends and engage in conversation with squirrels, but I’ll admit I’m a bit spacy.

That said, I’m a wee bit concerned about my mental state after the last week or so. Oh, there’s nothing serious to report–I haven’t discovered a newfound pleasure in cutting myself, nor have I found myself staring at Heinz Field and wondering what it would look like on fire. No, it’s more a number of small fumbles and stumbles that has me wondering if there are some sparking wires inside my skull.

Like most working stiffs I have an alarm clock. I set my alarm every night before I go to bed. Last Thursday I forgot to set it for the first time in 10 years. OK, no biggie, we all make mistakes. My own internal clock went off 30 minutes after my Timex one should’ve sounded, so I wasn’t even late for work. No biggie.

Thing is, I forgot to set my alarm Sunday night. I set it every night for 10 years, and then on consecutive nights I forget to set it. And I woke up at exactly the same time on Monday as I did on Friday. Odd.

So Monday I race around, get dressed, grab my coat and bag, set down my bag to throw my fermenting gym clothes out of the back seat, hop in the car, and I’m off. Leaving my bag sitting there in the garage. Terrific. My lunch and, more importantly, my ID badge were in the bag. I can’t even set the damn thing on the ground five seconds without forgetting it.

But I forgave myself. I was probably distracted by the stench rising from my kneepads, which is putrid enough to drop an elk. OK. The next day I wake up (to the chiming of my alarm clock, thank you), get dressed, grab my bag, and head to town.

Forgetting my coat. On a day when it’s about 50 degrees with temperatures due to plummet. I walk every day from our shuttle lot to my building, and in the morning the 25-minute walk was no problem. It was calm and crisp. The walk back, on the other hand, was like something out of March of the Penguins. It rained sideways all afternoon and while the precip ended the wind howled on. And being bullheaded I walked back to the lot, freezing my ass off and getting quite a few stares from bundled-up commuters wondering why the hell I was leaning into the wind with nothing but a pale-blue Polo oxford to shield my tender skin from the slashing wind. I should’ve worn a sandwich board that read, “Because I’m an IDIOT”. It might’ve shielded me from a bit of the wind, at least. I thought I heard a tick-tick-tick sound as my core body temperature slid into the low nineties.

So I haven’t been running on all cylinders. For the most part I’ve been able to function quite well, it’s just these little glitches that are making me wonder if a true mental catastrophe looms. And then comes Monday night, we played volleyball, lost our playoff game, and went out for consoling drinks afterwards. Too many delicious beers later I got home, drank a quart of water, gobbled down a few Advil, and hit the hay. I woke up feeling fantastic, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I dressd, grabbed something for lunch, grabbed coat AND bag and I’m in my car 10 minutes ahead of my usual departure time. I’m halfway there when I catch a glimpse of myself in the rear-view mirror. I have written extensively on these pages about the Troubles I have with my hair. It’s straight, it’s all over the place, it’s a pelt. Well, after I got out of the shower and blew it dry (if I don’t it’ll still be wet at 3PM) I didn’t comb it. Or brush it. I looked like I’d just rolled out of bed and then, for kicks, stuck my finger in a light socket. The air is so cold and dry that my hair had picked up a charge strong enough for me to feel in my fingertips. I looked ri-goddam-diculous.

How the hell do I keep missing these steps in my daily routine? I brushed my teeth–why didn’t I go through my progressions and brush my hair? I haven’t dropped these many balls in such a short space of time in I don’t know how long. OK, I have stuff on my mind, but no more than usual. I haven’t driven off a bridge or eaten a carboard pizza box yet, but I’m afraid the situation may escalate. So far it’s the banal minutiae of life that’s giving me problems. Am I going to snap out of it, or am I gonna start having problems with the dishwasher?

Today, so far, has been a good day. All systems are go. I’m on the case. Eye of the Tiger, Geno. Eye of the Tiger.

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2 Responses to “Keeping My Eye on the Ball”

  1. Ken Says:

    I am 65.

    I envy you!


  2. JoeSpeaker Says:

    When you show up at work with two different shoes on, call me.

    No, they weren’t even the same color.

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