What's bad about bad weeks is as everything falls apart, or gets close to falling apart - (one firmly believes at some point it's all fallen apart- game over, but then manages to pull it back from the edge mostly through stupid luck in the 11th hour and this happens a few times over- so that one begins to have little doubt in the randomness of the universe)- what's particularly bad about this is all the other little annoying things that happen at the same time.
Things break- important stuff like the washing machine and the VCR (believe me, in some people's world those are vital like food and oxygen). Children start running temps of 103. Additional mistakes are made- forgetting to pay the light bill, locking the keys in the car, making a left when I should have made a right and I knew that but was too busy mentally telling off my new boss. And while I might have been on time if I'd taken the right turn- just barely, now I'm definitely not, which will make it a bit trickier when trying to get Miss Thing in line.
Basic mental acuity has been drained. Even the stuff that you pull out of nowhere- when you thought there was nothing left, but then you go all David Carradine and manage to find some more- that's gone now, too.
There's not enough time to eat or sleep and that's unfortunate because right about now is when those things could be especially helpful. I comb the tangles out of my hair on the drive in to where ever. A day care worker explains why Harry's shoes are inappropriate and he needs another pair- and I don't have the energy to be embarrassed or offended.
I pass a dog lying still on the side of the road. But it's not smashed or bloody- it could still be alive. I don't have time to see if it's alive. I have just enough time to double back and see if it's dead. If it's alive then I am responsible for it. I remember my new boss has pictures of her dog on her desk and a Springer spaniel screen saver. I'm not convinced she'll care. The dog is dead. It has a collar but no tags. The street and houses around it all look empty. In a few hours school buses will deliver children. I pull it just a bit further off the road so it doesn't get hit again. I'm relieved it's not alive. I don't know how that'll play kharmically.
I watch a big fat mean kid bully Awais as I enter the parking lot to pick him up- in this case the exhaustion works to my advantage. I'm not jittery with rage and indignation- which often just leads to nowhere confrontations and stupid parent speak "I have an issue with . . . blah, blah, blah." Nope, it's with wearied frankness I ask the after school teacher- "what is going on?" "Just boys- they've been going at it all afternoon"- she says. "My kid is crying and that kid is grinning- he's having a good time." I turn to the kid and ask him "you're having fun, aren't you?" 8-9 year old fat idiot kid nods enthusiastically. "Don't let this happen. Awais is tall for his age, but he's not even six yet. This isn't right. You never heard of Columbine?" (that part only works because I'm too tired to sound hysterical). "Some kids are just mean", she tells me. "Yes, and he's probably getting it from school or somewhere else." I say. She nods and there is an understanding. But I say again, "don't let this happen to Awais".
What's sad about this is this girl is probably the most on the ball of any of them there. That's probably why I could talk to her.
In the car, later I remember I owe them a lot of money.