I've been worried all day. When the alarm blared this morning, I tossed off the covers and picked my way across the carpet, keeping my gaze away from the windows, lest I see an owl. My breathing came quick and shallow on the drive to work for fear I'd see a black cat or spin out into on-coming traffic. When the car rolled into a parking place, I raced through the front door, holding the banister as I climbed the stairs and slumped into my cubical, taking long, hardy breaths. Minutes later the back stairwell door banged open and footsteps clumped on the linoleum floor. The maintenance supervisor dragged a ladder through the maze of cubicals, all the way back to my desk.
My eyes widened. "What are you doing with that ladder?" I whispered in a shaky voice.
He cocked his head and stared. "You wanted your light bulb changed."
I never said anything about one of the overhead florescent lights being out. I pressed back into the chair, remaining completely still until he'd finished his task and hauled the ladder away.
It has been 24 hours. That seems like enough time, don't you think? Last night about this time I had some Chinese food. After the meal I broke open my fortune cookie and there was nothing there. Nothing. What does it mean when there is no fortune at all? Bad luck? Or that I won't last the day?
I'm home now and have buckled myself into my easy chair. I'm not moving until the stroke of midnight.