I woke up two hours later than normal today because of an adverse-weather delay. I brushed my teeth, ate, worked a little and briefly showered with my new body wash, the pheromone-loaded kind that comes in an oil can. I ran out the door with a good thought: work.
I knew something besides my odor was wrong when I crossed the bridge over the Haw. North Carolina seemed more desolate than ever before. It could have been the lack of cars or the dismal topic on NPR or my foggy head.
It was the lack of cars. I pulled into an empty gravel lot and parked. My silenced phone contained the message: school was canceled. I refused to unceremoniously drive away, so I walked to the front entrance and pulled a locked door. Lowe's hardware was across the street, so I drove over and walked the wood-scented, concrete aisles. I remembered shopping with my dad when I was little. My only job was to push the cart, but I used to forget to look forward until the front end bounced off his Achilles tendon. Then I would ram his other one a few minutes later. I could not pay attention with all that wonderful hardware stacked up so high.
I wanted to call someone on my half-hour ride home to celebrate, so I called my colleague friend. He was still alive in the middle of the lonely morning. I felt better.