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My electricity went out briefly last night. I have two alarm clocks (well, I have three alarms, but two are on one clock) but I only use one. I mean, I set two alarms on one clock. This is going to be confusing. Anyway, I put that clock on my dresser so that I have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm. The other clock is on my nightstand, next to my bed, which is why I don’t use it. It’s too close and if I can just reach over and slap the snooze, I won’t wake up. That clock has a blue LED light. It’s very bright.

When the electricity went out, my computer restarted – which also restarted my printer. The printer is old and it’s very loud. For some reason, that woke me up, even though it’s in the other room. I only mention that because when I was a kid, I once slept through a fire across the street. I walked outside, saw the ruins, came back in and reported that the Kings’ house had burned down. My mother looked at me, shook her head and said, “Well there were only three fire trucks and a rescue squad. I don’t see how that would wake you up.”

So. The printer restarted and woke meΒ  and all I could see when I opened my eyes was a blue flashing light on my ceiling. I thought, “Oh shit! Fire!” I think I thought the cops were outside, but I didn’t hear sirens, only a weird whirring sound (my printer). When I found my glasses and put them on my face, I realized the blue light was my clock, and then I figured out that the printer was making all the noise. That was at 2:30am.

At 6:00am, the temperature was 3 degrees. Count them, three! For my metric friends, that’s fucking cold. -16 C. Β I left my car unlocked last night and climbed in the passenger side because of my driver’s door problem of not latching when it gets below 20 degrees. I have a little console in between the seats and my ass keeps hitting it and knocking the top sideways (I broke it with my ass last winter). I’ve finally stopped using the emergency brake because … well, in some states, that’s assault.

I got about a quarter mile down the street when I looked in my rearview mirror (yes, I’m a bad driver) and realized I hadn’t scraped the snow off the back window. So I stopped at a convenience store. I climbed over the gear shift and the console, avoided the emergency brake, opened the passenger door, fell out and reached back in for the scraper. I brushed the snow off, and got back in by doing the whole process again – in reverse.

The day passed in slow-motion agony and as I was about to leave, the vice-president walked up to me. This is the same one who fired me in March 2007. She gave me a letter with my 60 day notice – and my last day is not the end of March next year like I had anticipated, but the end of February. It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a whole month of pay and it makes a big difference in my severance package. I said, “This is the last time you’re going to fire me, isn’t it? Because I need to know if I should pack my stuff or if I can just leave it.”I’ll give her credit – she laughed.

I knew this was coming. I expected it. I was even excited about the change. When she handed me that letter, though, she might as well have kicked me in the gut – again. I just felt winded. It’s one thing to theorize about it, because that leaves the possibility that the speculation is wrong. It’s another to have concrete evidence that it will happen.

I went to the grocery store on my way home. I climbed out the passenger side – and it really pissed me off. Goddamn it. I’m almost forty-two years old supposed to be past this point in life. I’m supposed to be financially stable. I’m not supposed to have junky cars with doors that won’t even fucking latch in cold weather. In the store, I found myself buying generic store-brand tuna instead of Sunkist. I know it tastes the same and the only difference is the price. I know that. But shouldn’t I be financially stable enough that it doesn’t matter what kind of fucking tuna I buy?

I feel like everyone else has control over my life – my boss, my school administrators, the goddamn government. I hate uncertainty. I hate change. I love the results – I really do. I know this will work out for the best and I’ll be in a much better place. But right now? It sucks worse than listening to Barry Manilow without benefit of alcoholic anesthesia.

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