Friday, 26 July 2013

The Day Off

So Wednesday afternoon I did something I never do. I asked for a day of annual leave for the coming Friday. I'm not particularly sure why but this is something I don't do very often. When my friends talk of going away, I always plan to leave the Friday after work and return the Sunday night. Also the last two times I put in for holidays, I had to cancel them because my trips didn't end up happening... Check my previous posts for that depressing monologue.

The reason I requested to have a day off was because I was feeling very run down and was getting symptoms of a cold. I have no idea why I can't just have a sick day like everyone else. It just makes me anxious. This may have something to do with a woman I used to work with always creating some sort of shit storm when I would have time off. I guess taking it out of my annual leave makes me feel less guilty. Anyway...

My three day weekend began by coming home on the Thursday afternoon and going straight to bed. I had a list of things I planned to do that night but instead, I napped for bit. Then woke up for chocolate and sakatas. Then back to bed. Today was a little more productive. I got rid of my old bed, built my cat a ramp up to my bunk bed and went on an adventure in my new neighbourhood.

This is where shit gets real... I decided to go for a walk to the Valley to get Oporto. For those of you who aren't familiar with Brisbane or my favourite fast food outlet, Oporto is just another burger place but I really like their wraps and the Valley is right next to the suburb I live in. It's known for it's night life mostly but there are also a few famous stories of the crazy people who hang out there during the day. I hadn't ever encountered them until today.

So the walk there was great. The only issue was I had to cross the street because there was a lady standing right in the middle of the path, staring me down... just something you do when you live off the government I guess. She probably had a lot of time to kill. When I reached the Valley, I noticed a lot of regular people but also a few of the crazies I'd heard stories of. By the time I reached Oporto, I was in full internal freak out mode. My exterior was calm and blank faced but inside I was taking note of where the police officers were and how difficult it would be for me to get their attention.

I ended up downing the wrap and stashing the chips in my bag for when I'd safely made it home... or to use them to barter my way out of some kind of low key potential hostage situation I may encounter. Then I found the bus stop, successfully avoided eye contact with a girl I new and jumped on the bus. You know when the bus starts to take off and you get that minor panic to find a seat before you fall over? Well I saw two spare seats. They were both next to other people, one was in front of the other. For some reason, my split second decision landed me next to someone I'm pretty sure was a drug addict instead of the business man in the seat behind.

I don't usually ride the bus so I always get the feeling that every other person on there is a seasoned pro and they can tell I'm a novice. So the bus ride started off with me not wanting to fully commit to the seat I had chosen, fearing it would anger the suspected drug addict. I nearly fell off it twice. After a while the seat in front of me became completely free, I wouldn't have to sit next to anyone if I could manage to move without looking too rude.

The move was successful but then I realised that sitting in front of me now, was a man so strange that I couldn't even stereotype him to make myself feel safer. I know it's terrible but I really freak out in these kinds of situations. He was too clean to look homeless, too dirty to look like he had a job, too old to be a student and didn't smell like an alcoholic. The reason for yet another internal freak out was the fact that he was staring at me and singing in another tongue. All I could do was copy the stoney, blank expression I had learned from the other seasoned travellers on public transport.

The next thing I new, the bus was stopping and a whole bunch of people including the man I had stereotyped as a drug addict were getting off. I made another split second decision: get off the bus at a random stop to avoid being left alone with the singing creeper. I jumped up at the last second, fearing that he may also get off the bus and follow me to my home. So I started walking down the street behind someone I had decided was a drug addict and it was almost dark. I even had to get google maps to figure out where the hell I was and how to get home. I decided I would allow myself ten minutes to reach the safety of my front door. Looking back, I realise I had no control over this. Thank god for sheer luck!

Once my maps have finally loaded, I realise I was on my street! I was about 100m from my house, still walking behind the drug addict. The next thing I knew, he's disappeared. I looked around, up driveways and behind fences as I passed. There was no sign of this guy anywhere. Oh well, I could see my house by now. I made it up the front stairs, down the corridor and into my apartment. Thank god! It's now Friday night, I'm sitting at home in my pyjamas and after the day I've had, there's no where else I'd rather be!

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