A Typical Wednesday

by Payel

My alarm first rings at 5:30 AM. I don’t particularly recall hitting the snooze button, but I must have since my alarm continues to ring in 8-minute intervals. Even then, I slumber on. The next alarm rings at 6:00. Again, I snooze, creating another set of ripple in the horrific alarm sequence. I finally wake to what I think is my alarm but is actually my ringtone. It’s my boyfriend, Matt. We had planned on getting coffee at 7:00 at Cartel, and it is already 6:30. I haphazardly stumble out of bed as the sweet tunes of Jack Johnson continue to play through my headphones, trying to croon me back into bed. With all my courage, I ignore the desperate calls, and like an imp, I scurry into the bathroom to begin my morning rituals.

It’s far too late to poop, so I decide to skip that. I know I will regret it once the coffee hits me, but I procrastinate on everything, including my bowel movements. I like to think my body has toughened up at this point, and I’ve become immune to all the irregularities I put it through, but I’m probably wrong (please advise). I start brushing my teeth, and immediately feel a gnawing pain in my gum. I appoint it to my wisdom teeth and choose to ignore it. Instead, I focus on my face. My eyes look puffy, my nose looks rounder and shinier, my lips are swollen, and my chin looks nonexistent as it has blended in with my neck. I turn my face to the side to observe and analyze further. Yup. My jawline has definitely ceased to exist. Whatever. Not a big deal. Clearly, it’s time to put on make-up and make the most of this face. Luckily, I didn’t take my make-up off yesterday, so the faint outline of my eyeliner helps guide me today. I contemplate putting on the new foundation I received from my Birchbox when I notice a tiny, sticky, little booger bashfully clinging onto my nose ring. I try to exhale in short bursts, but to no avail. I resort to using the proper protocol to remove the little bugger.

I study my hair. Lanky, lifeless, greasy strands occupy my head and rest just below my boobs. The teal bits are fading into a lovely vomit green (Somehow, pastel had made the impressive leap from being Easter-exclusive to becoming a hipster staple. I, too, had wanted to jump on this bandwagon, but I’m not a risk taker so I settled for teal, which is clearly proving to be a terrible choice). Thankfully, my work doesn’t care if its employees have ugly hair. Yet, still, I want to try and execute some semblance of a hairdo. I go through my options. If I put my hair up in a bun, I would pull all focus to my chin (or lack thereof). A man bun, on the other hand, would be fashionable and utilitarian, but they never stay intact for longer than five minutes. And I couldn’t find my butterfly clip to pull some of it back to look a bit professional. I decide to just keep it casual (read: messy).

Because I am incompetent at doing my laundry on time, I slip on my go-to professional slacks that I have been wearing for the past two weeks. I search for a freshly laundered shirt to compensate for my lack of effort in the pants department. After a full two minutes, I give up. My theory that a cardigan can make anything look professional prevails as I put my black cardigan over my otherwise work-inappropriate cropped tank top. I don’t even bother to look at the mirror. I grab my laptop bag and rush downstairs.

Since I’m living with my parents at the moment, I have been enjoying the luxury of always finding good food in the fridge. I heap spoonfuls of white rice into a rectangular Tupperware bowl. Then I squish it to the side to make room for the coconut chicken curry my mom made. Shit. A cinnamon stick falls in. But I’m too lazy to do anything about it, so I let it sit on top of the rice and curry mix like a garnish that represents my shitty work ethic. I lick the spoon and drop it into the sink. Another luxury I have been enjoying is that I no longer have to do the dishes because I was raised as a spoiled brat. I frantically put the lid on my bowl and head out.

While I’m driving, I call Matt to see whether I’m running late. I also want to see if I have time to buy myself a fruit. The beer I drank last night left my body feeling parched this morning, and coffee will only make me more dehydrated. Matt offers to buy me a yogurt or a vanilla macaron since he’s still driving when I arrive to Cartel. I make a regretfully idiotic decision and choose the yogurt.

The weather is especially nice today. Luscious, fluffy clouds hoisted on a gray sky, mildly warm air, and just slightly humid. We decide to drink our cold brew and eat our breakfast outside. As we find a table, Matt points out my obsession with twirling my hair. At first, I think that he’s pointing out one of my many cute, quirky traits, but then I realize that he’s probably telling me it’s disgusting because when I look down I find strands of my hair decorating the table we had just sat down to eat at. I brush them away and resolve to put my hair up in a bun.

I acutely investigate the Starbucks yogurt cup, top to bottom: berries, granola, greek yogurt, honey. Besides the honey and the yogurt, everything is compartmentalized in individual containers. I open the cup to find that there is very little yogurt. In fact, all the proportions seem to be intended for a four-year-old child who probably hates yogurt and berries. There are maybe five blueberries and exactly three slices of strawberries (equating to 1.5 strawberries) in the berries container. If anything, the granola chunks are overcompensating for its insufficient counterparts.

My hungry stomach directs me to dig into the yogurt, but I abruptly stop when my spoon hits the bottom of the cup faster and swifter than I had imagined it would. I internally squirm at the unusually low viscosity of the honey. Trying to shrug it off, I quickly mix the liquid honey with the thicker greek yogurt because I do not want to deal with the honey as a separate entity any longer than I need to. I pour in my berries and granola, mix a little, and then ravenously devour the concoction. I don’t even stop to relish the 1.5 strawberries Starbucks had generously given me.

Matt’s need to poop dictates the end of our little morning rendezvous, and we part ways. I speed-drive to work and am just shy of being two hours late. After a shitty parallel parking attempt, I run to the gate to scan my card and head into the office. I heave up the single flight of stairs and am exhausted by the time I finally reach my desk. I drop my shit at my desk and head over to the bathroom to pee. On the way, I sneak a glance through the narrow window slit and fantasize about all the things I’m probably missing out on due to this insufferable job.

I break work into four chunks of two-hour periods, each punctuated with either a bathroom break or water bottle refill or sometimes both. I begin my day by checking my email. Today, I have a single new email about a specialty food truck selling gourmet quesadillas that will be stopping by this Friday—something to look forward to. Although, I plan on finishing the tasks that were assigned to me last week, I streamline my attention to the riveting conversation about tacos that I am engaged in with my best friend, Antora, who is currently interning in New York. I text her: “Did you get tacos?” I eagerly await her response.

The second chunk of work starts off with lunch, which I am always looking forward to. I take out the bowl from my lunch bag and am thoroughly disappointed. My rice to curry ratio is extremely off. Sourly, I begin eating globs of white rice. Desperately trying to avoid work, I open up a word doc to document my Wednesday. This smoothly transitions me into the third chunk of work, which conveniently includes a one-hour meeting. I had promised my supervisor that I would finally go into the software lab to simulate my code after the meeting, so I feel pangs of anxiety as I sit through the meeting. Thankfully, my other supervisor tell me we need to finish my evaluations, and I sneakily drag that excuse to the end of work day. I am only slightly ashamed.

I revisit Cartel on my way back from home and get discounted coffee this time. I sit there for a little bit to wade through the mental gunk but get distracted by the booming music and my incessant need to eavesdrop on the loud crowds around me. Finally, crippling hunger forces me to drive home where I retire my professional clothes, gorge on all the coconut chicken curry and finally take the first shower of the week.

There are still a few more hours of Wednesday left, but I need to catch up on Mr. Robot. So, I will probably procrastinate on everything else on my current to-do list.

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