I was tempted to start my vacation on the 23rd. Coming after a long weekend and preceding the holiday vacation, that Monday was the most dreaded Monday of the year 2013. I had to force myself out of bed at 8:00 a.m., however. No matter how depressing the foreseen events of my day were, they were, nevertheless, crucial.
I purposefully attempted to arrive late for my 10:00 a.m. class. If it weren’t for the attendance grade I so desperately needed, and the fact that I needed my professor to sign some papers, I would’ve probably not attended at all – given that I had a four-hour wait for another professor to arrive and give me some recommendation letters I asked him to fill.
I strolled toward the bus, enjoying the sun on my cheeks and shunning down all the voices of the harassing boys and men who were surrounding the bus station for no obvious reason. Even though I left my home half-an-hour later than usual, I didn’t arrive that much late to class, to my dismay. I endured the hour-and-a-half long lecture, without having had my dose of caffeine yet – as I postponed that to be taken during the midday wait. I wasn’t sure if I was particularly sleepy that day or it was the lack of caffeine that made the entire session pass like an out-of-body experience.
I had a plan to write for the four hours I was going to spend waiting for my professor’s arrival. My coffee cravings, however, forced me to go beyond the neighboring coffee shops in search of a decent (commercially speaking) coffee place to imbibe an over-priced, caffeine-infused drink that would quench my yen. It took me an hour to get to the nearest brewer – getting from one place to another is physically impossible in a city that contains over 5 million vehicles and less than a 100 main roads. I had to settle for one coffee shop instead of my preferable one, since I knew it would take me another hour to get there.
Anticipating the loads of calories I was going to consume the next day, I ordered a coffee with no sugar. I quaffed the whole thing, read a few pages of a book by Ellen Ullman, whilst avoiding the slightest eye contact with any soul around me. Within 90 minutes it was time for me to hit the road again. I spent another hour on the bus all the way back to my university campus, after getting lost trying to find my way amongst the drilled streets that derailed the buses from their usual stop.
My professor was yet to arrive. I sat on a nearby bench, bathing in sunlight as I awaited the ever punctual mathematician to arrive for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes… He finally rushed through the door, signed his name, and as he turned around and saw me, he smacked his forehead with his palm. “I’m so sorry,” he said, “I forgot the papers at home.” That was something I never expected to hear a teacher say to his student!
Another hour was wasted going from bus to bus to cab, praying for my life as the reckless drivers transported me to my destination. I was unable to speak, much less help my mother prepare Christmas dinner, by the time I arrived home. All I was able to do was drink tea up to the point where my blood stream was saturated with – and thus inured to – caffeine. I let my disappointed self slide into the depths of slumber as the silent images of the television and the red Christmas lights flashed at my drained eyes.