I got up yesterday morning and had breakfast and walked the dog, and it was cold but it was sunny and everything sparkled a little and the dog was really happy, bouncing from snowbank to snowbank, trying to eat a little bit of sandwich someone left on the sidewalk, wagging and wagging and wagging. I brought her inside and peeled off my sweaty clothes and planned to have a quick shower before my doctor’s appointment, only to realize it was in 15 minutes, not 45 minutes, so I put my sweaty clothes back on in a hurry and drove across town to their shiny new office, and parked in the new parking lot, and opened the door of the car, which was caught by a gust of wind and driven directly into the passenger door of the van parked next to me, leaving a small, barely-noticeable-to-most but glaringly-obvious-to-me dent and smudge of red paint. I panicked, and wondered what to do, and decided I was late and I should just check in at the doctor and then decide whether to leave a note.
Signs in front of the main door said to go around, so I tried to enter through a locked door and another locked door and another locked door, and finally after a a fruitless near circle of the building found one that was open but inside, there were no signs telling me where to go, and finally ended up in the right place, in front of an aggressively bored and surly sort of receptionist who interrupted my apology and explanation as to why I was late to tell me to just swipe my health card now please. I was grumpy and stressed and annoyed and figured I should complain self-righteously to the nurse, the nice nurse, the one who is always friendly and cheerful, about the lack of signs, because someone really needed to do something about it or they’d have late patients day after day, and she apologized and smiled warmly and assured me she’d check it out. The doctor kind of brushed aside the concern I was there to speak to him about and the receptionist snapped at me again on the way out when I asked her another question, and I headed to my car only to realize that I was the one who was wrong, the signs were right and the door was right there all along and I had walked past it in my panic and yeah, I was an idiot, and a rude one at that, and I felt foolish and ashamed of the little hissyfit I threw to the nurse and embarrassed by what she must be thinking, because when you’re in that sort of mood you assume everyone is thinking about you, even when they’re likely not right now, nor have they ever been.
The van was gone and I realized I had never made up my mind whether to apologize to the driver for the ding and smudge of red paint and maybe they had noticed and secretly hated me, along with the nurse and the receptionist, along with – let’s be honest – myself, kind of. I drove home and drank tea with too much sugar and rubbed my eyes a lot and tried to work and sort of generally felt not-right about everything, displeased and agitated, like my life was just 5 or 6 degrees off balance or something, like I was the centre of the universe and a tiny insignificant speck at the same time, like I was the first person to ever bang up someone’s car or be late and lost or grump at somebody for something that wasn’t their fault, only I know I’m not, now, but sometimes it’s hard, really hard, to remember that, then.