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.
“Throw another log on the fire, John, we’ve got a long ways to go before this plan’s all done,” he told me, and I got up to collect more firewood before the tenacity of the mosquitoes killed me. The exuberance of those bugs sure got to me sometimes.
I stacked what I’d quickly gathered in the midst of the flames and sat down in my spot to the left of our fearless leader. In the grand scheme of things, his idea was not really that special, but it still gave me goosebumps every time we gathered to work out the kinks of another heist.
We were actually the most wanted gang of bank robbers in west Texas, but we looked far too motley of a crew for any of the gamblers and saloon girls we saw most nights to take us seriously. We didn’t care. It’s easy enough to ignore the jokers when those you need the most are always there.And it’s easier to spend time in a town to learn what you need to know when the sheriff isn’t automatically out to get you.
I’d been woolgathering instead of paying attention again, and it looked like I’d missed something important. That was alright. I never knew the whole plan, and we’d always gotten along just fine. Things just had a way of working themselves out for me.
I reached back into The Blog Propellant’s archives to find this word association prompt that turns out to be exactly one month old today. Happy birthday, prompt!