Mondays are good for things like counting how many bills are past due in your head, or tallying the number of days it’s been since you’ve last moved your body in a way that could be construed as exercise. It’s also ripe with awkward exchanges: You get stuck riding the elevator with the unruly looking man who always answers your mass emails to the office with inappropriately personal tidbits about his life — “It’s Birthday cake day today? That’s funny. When me and my sister were six we also had white cake with strawberries on top. And then we swam in the lake with our grandfather who ended up having an affair with our old nanny!” Cool C-dawg, thanks for letting me know.
Mondays are certainly not dignified days.
Round One: Monday in the bathroom
Monday morning is where I find myself, hurriedly brushing my teeth in the women’s bathroom at work because I’m late, when all of the sudden I’m listening to the primal grunts of a fellow human struggling to eliminate dead animal remnants from their bowels. Besides the twinge of jealousy I feel toward this person for producing normal bowel movements so early in the morning, I’m generally displeased with what’s happening. In these moments, there is no higher power saving us from the hideous beasts we biologically are deep down inside. Not even a courtesy flush could save me from the guttural moans of a woman thrusting aside gender norms for the chance to maintain her digestive normality— WAIT A HOT SECOND, there’s a fucking guy coming out of that stall. In a construction helmet. He smells of bologna sandwiches that have been heating up on a hot sidewalk mixed with the dirty mop water that used to collect at the end of my driveway from the makeshift car wash service that Di-Di the homeless crack addict started when I lived on “the bad side of town.”
“Uhh…ohhh…this is… Is this the girl’s bathroom?” I wasn’t buying the act. You heard me clack in here, man, all pigeon-toed in my heels like a grown-ass woman.
I shook my head up and down as my Sonicare toothbrush glided unpleasantly over my half broken fillings. (Sidenote: It’s never worth it to go to the “wholesale” dentist just because you have a chance to win the Free Trip to Hawaii Sweepstakes. Chances are, the contest never existed in the first place.) At this point, I’m fighting the urge to spit my toothpaste all over him repeatedly as if I were filming hilarious outtakes for a show called My Life Monday (The screwball sequel to His Girl Friday).
Round two: Monday at the pump
Later that day, on the way home from work, I decided to finally acknowledge the lit up emergency light on my dashboard, indicating “Your father is not coming to do this for you. Please put air in your tires, you irresponsible brat.” Obviously, like most civilized people, I needed to buy something in the gas station to get cash back and have change for the quarter-operated air pump from 1963. As I walk out of the gas station there is a Mercedes SUV inching uncomfortably closer and closer to my car, which I have intentionally parked an inch away from the pump, until the Mercedes appears to be human centipeding my car.
“She wants your car to buy her a drink first!” I said to the woman now exiting her car and moving toward the air pump. Apparently she was not amused by the personification of my white Chevy Aveo. She was also unaware, like most Mercedes owners I’ve come across, that having a Mercedes doesn’t automatically disqualify you from having to wait in a line or you know, being a decent human being.
“I was actually about to use that,” pointing to my car that was positioned in the only spot allotted for the air pump.
“Yeah. Well, I’m going to go ahead and use it. And it’ll be a few minutes and then i’ll just pass it on over to you.” I was astounded and exponentially impressed by her ability to make cutting me in line sound like a favor she was doing me. When I regained consciousness as a human being able to stand up for herself, she was already discarding the pump from her hand, there was no “passing it on over” that took place. I imagined giving her an atomic wedgie in her Lulu Lemon yoga pants for most of that night. But not before I met JJ.
JJ really wanted a Sirloin Sandwich combo from Jack In The Box and I was standing in his way. By standing in his way I mean I was crouching down, pumping air in my tires like a self-sufficient adult woman. That’s when he came rushing to my aid like an unkempt, hungry Prince Charming of the Streets.
“hey-hey-hey, let..let.. let me do that for ya. I got some gloves on — make this real smooth and easy for ya.” Granted it was 41 degrees in Austin, which meant there was a “Severe Weather Alert” already in effect.
“I’m actually pretty okay all by my lonesome. It’s just this tire really—“
“Aww no, ain’t no lady as pretty as you getting her hands dirty on dees tires.” As he grabbed the air pump out of my delicate lady hands I thought about how many people JJ has met at this pump. Obviously, he lived his life with intention and purpose. Instead of wasting time begging for change like others struggling to make a buck, he camped out at the one place that doesn’t take credit cards and went from there. I liked his drive, although I resented the superior demeanor he possessed when claiming my tire was “full enough, mama.”
Despite the fact that JJ’s help was thrust upon me like an unwanted work email at 4:59 p.m., I gave him a dollar. And when he asked me for another dollar because he’d been “dreamin’ ’bout dem Jack fries” I gave him another dollar. It was a Monday after all, and I was happy to spend the end of it making JJ’s dreams come true. And as I drove home, weaving through the mass of deplorable Southern drivers, honking at the inevitable douchey bro in a hummer and then at the irresponsible douche with a dog loose in his truck bed, I thought, ughh, well, I guess Monday could be worse.