Early Morning Dense

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Despite the better part of my own unique blend of humanity and mistrust, I do try to be optimistic about many of life’s situations, especially first thing in the morning. However, no matter how hard I try, there are times when I think the heavens are in a grand conspiracy to see how far I can be pushed for the sake of their all-knowing amusement. Rarely are the great and mighty forces out to merely tweak me. No, the vast majority of the time the things that happen are truly trivial in the great scope of this life I know, yet they stick in my ribs as an example of how simple life can be until human beings try to think too much into all that goes on around us.
Last week I was staying at my girlfriend’s apartment before heading off to a job interview. In truth I did not want the job so much as I wanted the check that would come along with being a productive member of society, so I dragged myself out of a deep sleep and headed to the showers. Normally after fifteen or so minutes of scorching hot water running over me, I am alert, awake, and even pass for semi-human. This time things did not go exactly as planned. Sure, things were fine until I tried to close the medicine cabinet, which is when my hand slipped off the mirror and was sliced from the first knuckle to the second along the index finger, removing all the skin and leaving a fair amount of raw meat exposed. This was a less than opportune time to realize she did not stock any sort of bandages.
At this point the normal American would head off to the Emergency Room to get the finger patched together. I, however, fall into that wondrous group of Americans that are both uninsured and broke. Simple enough solution: finish getting carefully dressed for the interview, pop a few pain killers to numb the hand up, and then leave in search of a drug store that will be open and willing to sell a bleeding man bandages. Easy enough.
Or so I thought. Without mentioning store names, I was planning on shopping at a store that would undoubtedly have the right aid to take care of the problem. When I went into the store I headed for the aisle indicating it held the home remedies such as pain medication, cold remedies, etc. Sadly, this was not where they chose to hide the bandages, and a store clerk was not readily available to show me the way to relief. As a result I stumbled around like a blind rat searching for a bagel until I found this store chose to keep all of their bandages in an aisle with the feminine hygiene products and diapers. Fantastic. But the bandages were a must have, so I tried to ignore the odd choice of store arrangement. Eventually, I even managed to find a store clerk who could free me from this realm of mercantile confusion.
“Did you want to pay for that?” She looked as though she wanted to be up and mobile as much as I did.
“Thought it would be a good idea.” At this point my hand was still bleeding, but part of me kept saying it was too early to shoplift even for three dollars.
After ringing my purchase through and ignoring the blood dripping onto her counter, she ignored the cash in my hand and said, “Will this be cash or credit this morning?”
“What? Cash. Cash. Just cash.”
She handed me the change and started to put the bandages in a bag. “No bag please. I’m going to need those as soon as I get outside.”
“Oh, your hand!”
“Yeah, I know. Not one of my more shining moments.”
“Did you cut yourself shaving?”
I looked into her eyes hoping to find any sign she was joking but no. She was serious and wanted a response. Discretion somehow took hold and lead me toward the door no matter how desperately I wanted her to explain to me why I likely would have been shaving my hands.
“Hope that dries up for you ok. Put ointment on so it doesn’t scar!”
The sad thing is part of me wanted to address her face to face and tell her every thought raging through me, yet I wanted the job interview more, and the bleeding still needed to be stopped. Sadly, the job interview proved to be a waste of time and far less entertaining than a confrontation could have been, but at least my finger stopped bleeding.