At last! Checkmate #2 Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check is here! But, holy hell, let’s back up a second, because I have had a release day like you would not believe. Short version: Helped a woman live through a stroke, comforted a little boy who thought he was watching a woman die, saved a dog from a hot car, and nearly flipped my own car and killed myself. Got your attention now?
Let Us Begin…
My day began earlier than I wanted. Because I was up late reading the first half of Cashing the Reality Check, just to see the final product. By the way! If you haven’t picked up Checkmate yet, you can get your hands on Pawn Takes Rook for 50% off over on DSP till the 13th! Click here!
Today, my schedule included going to weigh-in at Weight Watchers, going to my weekly doctor’s appointment, and going home. That was it. Weigh-in was at 9:30, my appointment was at 9:45. Considering the two places are right up the street from each other, I see this as no big deal.
I was late leaving the house, and I had to get gas. And of course, there was a wait to get gas. It is 9:25. I keep myself chill and get there.
I get to Weight Watchers at 9:42. I am officially late. Weigh-in, inform my leader what’s going on that I can’t sit in this meeting. She tells me there’s one at noon. I agree to come back and off I go.
Things Take An Uplifting Turn
My doctor’s appointment was awesome (let’s be fair. He’s my therapist.) Life is grand. I’ve discovered all kinds of things about myself that we’ve been trying to pull out of me for years! I’ve finally got into my head that I need to believe in myself and not put so much value in the opinion of others that it eliminates all of my confidence. All kinds of happy stuff like that. Life is wonderful. Life is awesome!
Seeing as I had an hour to kill before the meeting, I get lunch at this adorable deli that I just discovered last week. I debate actually skipping the meeting. I go anyway.
And I’m Late To Weight Watchers
I get there at 12:20, thinking the class has already started, the good news is people are still weighing in. I’m good. I sit there, realizing that besides the parents that brought their kids, I am the only one in the room under 50. A bunch of lil’ ol’ gossipy blue hairs, and snarky mothers that have nothing better to do that slag on others. I feel awkward, because there’s no one I know. But I give it a go anyway. The class is actually awesome.
And ten minutes in…
A Little Old Lady Has A Stroke
I’m two seats away from this woman. And one moment she says she doesn’t feel well and then the whole left side of her body convulses and she’s bam on the ground. There are about twenty-five people in this class. Twenty of them run.
Something in me tells me to stay. There was no voice in my head, there was no God touching me with a finger, it was just this innate instinct I needed to stay.
A little boy was there with his mother who’s a member. I’m guessing he was about ten, he says he “feels weird” and I ask him if he’s scared, he says no, but he’s clearly freaking out. I sit with him and tell him the famous Mr. Rogers quote here:
The boy feels a bit better, and the other members and I get the woman talking. The first words out of her mouth are complete jibberish, confirming to the four other class members and myself what happened. Our leader borrows an iPhone and calls 911 and of course with it being an iPhone there is no way to confirm the address. So there’s a little bit of confusion on that part, we get it settled, I agree to go flag down the ambulance when they pull into the shopping center.
So… I head out into the parking lot….
And There’s A Dog Baking In A Car
There’s this dog in a car, a basset hound, howling his head off in a car that has its windows rolled up. It’s 95 degrees outside with a heat index of 115 or more. This dog is cooking. A couple of people are around the car considering what to do, and while I’m waiting on the ambulance I shout to them “Break the window!” Because Florida has a law that if an animal or baby is left in a hot car, we can break the window and not be fined. One of the women calls to me “I called the cops!”
And she leaves.
And I was livid.
The ambulance arrives at just the right moment. I mention to them the lady’s inside but also about the dog. They tend to the lady, I go to see about the dog.
It Can’t Possibly Get Worse
We are in a shopping complex, and on our section of it, there is the Weight Watchers Center, a discount linens store, a Chinese restaurant, a pet store, and a closeout store. I start walking the line, walking in these places and announcing very loudly without a damn given on how it looks, “WHO IS THE ASSHOLE THAT’S COOKING THEIR DOG IN THE PARKING LOT.”
I scare the bejesus out of a few people, but do not give a shit, as no one comes forward. I continue on. I skip the Chinese restaurant because no possible way an owner of this dog is having a sit-down meal.
Or So I Thought
I get out of the pet store, and no one else comes forward, and I find one of the EMT’s talking to a girl and she is a girl (probably eighteen) next to the car and gesturing to her dog. She and her boyfriend were totally in the restaurant having a sit-down meal.
And while I thought it really loud I reasoned out it wouldn’t be wise to slam this girl’s head against her car. You know… With the cops right there. And I probably couldn’t do it anyway. But I was so amped on adrenaline and rage I could have been capable of anything.
It Gets Better…. Kinda?
So, the lady is on the ambulance, the dog is safe, hurray! I head home. And because it is a bajillionthy degrees I stop at Starbucks, get two bottles of water, as well as a Valencia Orange Refresher. I am intent on drinking all these things on the way home.
I’m at a traffic light, my adrenaline and anger wearing off, and I see one of our many panhandlers in this town. But this guy is roasting. So I give him a bottle of water, and he is actually quite thankful and clearly not doing this for kicks. We have a lot of those in my town. I feel better. And I feel better that daaaaaaaaag I did a freaking lot of good deeds! That’s awesome!
So I go home, chill, hug my furkids. Dork around on Facebook…
And Then Dad Calls….
My Dad had locked his keys in his truck, and he called for me to bring him the spare key. He works on the Navy base and it’s five minutes from home. No problemo, I say!
I’m driving along a two lane street, with a car next to me going the exact speed, when a guy behind him decides the street needs to be three lanes. To avoid him, I have to swerve so hard, my car jumps a curb and I have two wheels on the sidewalk and two wheels on the street. I had hit the curb hard enough that I could feel my car go into that flipping motion if I had hit it going faster.
The guy speeds off. And I say NOT IN MY HOUSE!
Because he actually can’t get away because of traffic an a thing called a traffic light, I put the pedal to the floor, catch up to him, get an inch from his back bumper, and lay on the horn. When he finally looks in his rearview, I give him a properly pissed off one-finger salute. I was perfectly ready to get out of my car, pound on his window, and demand what the fuck was wrong with him but his windows were tinted, and I can’t throw a punch, and I didn’t know if he was armed. Logic won the day.
The Grand Moment of Clarity
I get Dad his key, life is grand. I’m driving back home and it hits me.
I am a fucking character in LOST.
In Other Words…
In other words… One of the dominating traits of the show is you’d have these super tragic characters with all their hangups, issues, and crazy crap, and then they’d reach this awesome moment of clarity where it all makes sense that they’re going to be okay.
And then they die in some horrible, tragic, meaningless way.
I am a character in LOST. That’s fucked up. It’s funny, but I’m not entirely sure if I’m kidding. God I hope so.
By The Way… My Book Came Out…
And I’m left thinking in all of this mess… “Oh… My book came out today. No big deal or nothing…”