Jack checked himself out in the mirror, fresh from the shower, and decided today was the day. For what, he wasn’t sure yet, but it didn’t really matter. He smoothed his mustache and nodded at his reflection. Today was a no-shirt day, so he pulled some pants on and headed downstairs.
His wife Sarah was busy cooking breakfast in the kitchen, rattling pans and splashing water. Jack startled when he saw her, because it was far from pancakes in the frying pan on the stove.
“Fish? For breakfast?” he asked, squinting one eye and pulling up the side of his lip in a sneer.
“Aye, admiral!” Sarah answered. “Twas a tragic thing, and I feel guilty for it, but I bought this fish for dinner yesterday and then forgot all about them when you said you wanted pizza.” She shrugged and returned to her clatter.
Jack turned toward the coffee maker with a gloomy look on his face, but perked up quite a bit when he saw that she’d also gotten his favorite brand of coffee, in spite of her distaste for it. “Fish it is!”
Where is the strawberry jam? I pushed tupperware containers of unidentifiable leftovers left and right seeking the elusive jar. It couldn’t possibly be in here. I’d moved everything around at least six times.
The toast popped out of the toaster, waiting for the sweet red nectar that I couldn’t find.
Fine. I settled for blackberry preserves; not the same at all, but better than plain buttered toast. Plain buttered toast is unacceptable unless it’s fried. But I didn’t have the time for fried bread this morning.
I stared down at the mixture of half-melted butter and blackberry particles coating my toast. This is not what I wanted, not what I needed. I left it on the counter for the cat to knock down and the dog to clean up.
When I went into the bathroom to garb my lip gloss I knocked the glass of cotton swabs into the sink. Since it didn’t break, I left that, too.
On the tollway, I blindly searched through my purse with my right hand, desperately seeking change. I came up with an expired library card and seventeen cents. So much for the exact change lane. I sighed and made a mental note to renew my library card. Yet another in the long list of to-dos that may or may not ever be accomplished.
When I got to the toll booth, I handed the attendant my fiver, and he handed back his phone number, written on the back of a receipt for flowers. Ugh. I crumpled it up in disgust and threw it on my passenger floorboard. That man was the reason I hated not having change. It was probably flowers he’d bought for his wife the last time she’d caught him passing his number out like candy at a carnival.
Half a mile on, I felt the tell-tale bumping and thumping of a flat tire. That just figures. I pulled over and walked around to check with my phone in my hand. What in the actual fuck? Is that? Really? One-half of a pair of scissors jutted from my right rear tire. I don’t know how it even stayed in there.
I texted my boss a selfie with it so she’d know why I was late. She’d understand. It was nice having a boss that cared about her employees.
At least, since I was so close to the toll booths, I didn’t have to wait long for Motorist Assistance to show. The truck pulled over smoothly behind me, and the lankiest man I have ever seen got out, chewing on at least half of a waffle, the other half of which drooped sadly from his left hand. He shoved the rest of it into his face and waved me back into my car.
I gladly went and let him handle the tire change. The last thing I needed was black tire marks on my moderately clean mint top.