Musette wants me to take the bus. I tell her that I am more comfortable with the subway, having studied it for two days now. She is adamant though, so I end up complying.
Before leaving, I take a poop that clogs the toilet. There is one little niblet of corn floating in the stinky puddle. It passed right through me. Can one really say that is lightness? Sending something directly through your body without it even touching your guts. Taking nothing from it. Is that healthy living in God’s eyes? Is that perfection? Is there no such thing as graceful nourishment? Is this the righteous means of feeding my flock? Acting like some lifeless tube, cleaned out and dead as plastic. Would the lord not rather have of you to eat the meals of mine flesh, the meat of a higher level?
I tell Musette about the clog. She tries helping me. There is no way of avoiding her seeing my feces. I saw her poop the other day. It was green. A starvation poop.
We have no plunger. The more we flush, the more of the log becomes visible.
It doesn’t go down. We have to leave. She is coming with me to the bus stop. We bring the dog as well. He has to go out at some point. Two birds with one stone. My little flock of morning doves.
We watch the bus leave as the dog is pooping.
The bus is not on schedule. It is either early or late.
It gets stuck in traffic, still sitting there after the dog has finished.
You could probably make it, Musette says.
I give her the leash and start rushing towards the bus but it takes off as I’m approaching.
I didn’t give myself enough time for missed busses.
Musette asks if I want to run.
What choice do I have? I say, angrily, beginning, the course of which Google says is a forty-five minute walk, having twenty minutes to get there. It is more running than I can handle. I have to take frequent breaks to prevent my heart from exploding.
I do, however, arrive in time, sweating profusely, wiping my face with my cardigan, the sweat unstoppable.
I call Musette and tell her that I made it, my phone drenched against my face as I hold it against my head.
Musette apologizes for telling me to take the bus but tells me that I should have looked up the schedule on my phone before leaving the apartment.
The bus was not on time, I tell her.
You should never plan for the last bus, she says.
I ask her if she got the toilet to flush.
She tells me that she couldn’t.
I start the opening procedure for the shop. Linda is not here. I want to rinse my face off in the bathroom before she arrives.
Opening the door to the building, I find the keys missing from the lock box.
Linda told me this might happen. I have no choice but to call her.
I’m still sweating like crazy and my cardigan looks like a used gym towel.
Linda arrives, apologizing for the missing keys. She opens the store. I’m very embarrassed about my appearance and possible smell. My hair is very grimy and my eyes are red.
Linda says nothing to me about my smell and appearance, but while setting up the store she tells me that today is the first day of the 2 o’clock kids’ suspension school session. She also tells me that Ulric is going to a state government facility to renew his street vendor license, which is good to have, she says, in case the store fails.
He’s got to take a number, and he’ll probably be waiting hours in line.
She says it’s worse than the DMV.
This means that I probably won’t be seeing him today, which I am happy about because he intimidates me. I’m not going to lie. This store is one of his passion projects. I am involved in one of his pieces. The 2 o’clock kids want to damage me, throw paint at my face. The Demise of the Infallible.
Linda goes down to the shop’s basement and is there for most of the day. She can see me on camera and she comes up whenever the store has a customer in it. I am alone but my head is in a bad place. That poop in the toilet is really doing a ditty on me. I’ve got clogged plumbing. Nothing is being washed down. My qi is not flowing.
Somebody comes in looking for a grinder. He knocks over a box of thin glass pipes as he’s pointing to the one he wants.
They hit the ground and many of them shatter.
I tell him that it’s okay but as he’s getting ready to leave I tell him to hold on while I get Linda.
Linda comes up and asks if he can pay ten dollars.
He complies and she cleans up the mess.
She tells me that something like that has never happened.
It must be the clogged qi.
Just around right before 2 o’clock a young black kid comes in wearing a backpack asking for Henessy. I tell him that we don’t have any Henessy. He looks around the store, confused, and leaves without saying anything.
There is a liquor store across the street. He must have gotten confused. I am concerned that I didn’t lock the door fast enough. I rush up and lock it.
Linda comes up. She tells me that she is going to try and find the school’s principal to talk to him/her about attaching a police escort to the kids.
I worry for her safety, but she’s the boss – sort of…
While she’s gone, I see no students.
She arrives back safely and tells me that the principal was not there.
That’s weird for the first day of school, I say.
She tells me that she watched the kids. They were being let out in segments.
It looks like they are being diverted away from the store, she says.
We unlock the door at two twenty.
It starts raining so I reel in the awning.
There is a broken neon sign on the store’s window which Linda is supposed to fix but she doesn’t want to because of the rain.
She goes to the bank instead.
Remember to pay yourself out, she says before leaving. It should be forty-five dollars. And give yourself a five dollar tip for all the work you put in the last couple of days.
I go through my closing procedure and realize that she was wrong in her math. I should be getting fifty four dollars plus the five dollar tip.
I call her and tell her this. She tells me that she will need to brush up on her multiplication.
Hank arrives. It makes me anxious. Counting the till, I find it to be twelve dollars off. I don’t understand how tills are always off.
Hurrying to get out, I almost forget my charger.
Walking home, I worry that I didn’t logout of Google. I worry about what Hank would do if he had access to my account. I can’t imagine everybody at the store reading what I’m writing about them.