Hey, you up there, in charge: today was overdone. Do I really need four officemates? Just two would suffice for future personality contrast humor, I think. Also, did I need to pass 25 sushi places, all off limits?
And, when I was trying to track down my landlady. C'mon. So, I didn't have the car I'd hoped to borrow, and I had to take the bus. And her phone was continually busy, so I couldn't find out which stop. So of course I got off at the wrong stop, and then I got her on the phone, but she was about to be picked up by her auto mechanic (!) to be brought down the hill to her freshly repaired car (!). So she couldn't come pick me up, and I had to wander over the hill by myself. Way, way too many obstacles: just the busy phone would have provided enough tension, don't you think?
But, the climactic scene. I'm walking disconsolately down a narrow road. No sidewalks, steep dropoff, map in front of me. I've just figured out that I'm nowhere near where I'd told my landlady I was when a beat-up black pickup passes me and I hear someone call, "Emma?" I look up the road, and there's a skinny blond woman in exquisite workout gear coming towards me. "Emma?"
Yes, the landlady (riding in her mechanic's truck) found me at the same moment as my nemesis from grad school, the one who married the hotshot and won a nice spousal appointment at his side, who now lives full-time the academic Nirvana I only get to visit. The landlady rapidly gave me keys and accurate directions and drove off, leaving me with Boopsie.
Cheap coincidence? Yet another small world ploy? Oh yeah. But there's more, oh dear, there's more.
Boopsie and I spoke of many useless little things. I hadn't seen her for four or five years (even though she's been steadily drifting towards my subfield). But eventually, I asked where she was walking.
"Oh, I'm on a big loop here. I'm only walking because my doctor told me not to run. [Pause.] Not for the next few months, anyway. [Pause.] Because in August, there will be some big changes coming." [Truly leaden pause.]
Director, up there, whoever you are, that was too damn much. Did you forget that I'm a hapless, sad-sack kind of heroine? Muddling my way through all things even remotely professional? I just wasn't capable of donning the necessary shit-eating grin and saying, "Me too!" I'm not that kind of girl.
So I told her quietly, "Congratulations!" And kicked myself, as I said my good-byes and finally found the damn house, 'cause at least I could have asked her who her OB is.