Whenever possible I like to live as, say, Audrey Hepburn would. Graceful, elegant, chic, effortlessly gliding into rooms and humbling people with my ballerina-like ways.
Of course, this is rarely the case. While I often hope that I can glide in to spaces, I mostly crash into them. What I’d like is to be elegant to the point of invisibility.
Today, I opted for a delicious sleep in (7:06am, but whatever). Ben took the car, and so when time came to run pressing errands, I had to walk to pick up the vehicle. The first order of business was to retrieve my final cheque from my former employers. I handed in my resignation notice last Friday, incidentally on payday. I was dreadfully nervous, fearful of retribution or confrontation. I had just come from an hour long yin yoga class, one that focused on hips and upper thighs, so when I stepped out of the car, my knees nearly betrayed me.
I came into the building on my jello legs. And stood in the reception area for a moment. I could not, for the life of me, remember the word “resignation”. I just stood there, my sweaty palm moistening the envelope. “Resigning”? “Resignatory”? “Resignative”? No matter, I could go into the office, drop the perspired paper purposefully on the desk, recite a haiku in German, and it wouldn’t really matter. But somehow, I needed a grip on that exact word…like it was a mantra. I offered the letter to the only person in the office. And she took the letter without a fight. Not that I wanted a fight, but in the same way you want to glide all over town like a chic starlet, it wouldn’t hurt for a wail, a cry to the gods, a shaking fist to the sky, or my favorite, the ‘on the knees begging you not to go’. “You have to let me go, I’ve just given my reignignatory letter, please, you’re only embarrassing yourself”. She wished me the best, we shook hands, and I wobbled out on my rubber legs. And I made it all the way to the car before I realized: “Ah frick, I didn’t get my cheque”. There’s nothing worse than having a tense or emotional moment with someone and then pop your head back in and ask if they validate parking. Luckily, I was able to get my pay without having to pop back into the office with a cute “Me again!” kind of shrug.
Anyway, today, heading down the hill in black leggings and tank top, wearing black flip flops. Listening to Erykah Badu on my I-Pod, and envisioning myself walking into the building, grabbing that cheque and walking right back out. Don’t look back. I was grooving to Badu, negotiating my way down a dusty hill, and imagining the end game. I pictured myself picking up that cheque, already basking in the closure–check mate, bitches, I don’t have to play this game anymore.
I’ve walked this way plenty of times before, but this was a first in these shoes. It was lightning quick, the sliding, the levitation that occurs before a fall, with just enough time to know that you are about to eat shit, but not enough time to do anything about it.
Lying in a cloud of dust, I propped myself up on my elbows. This is when I see the blood. It appeared that my big toe decided to separate itself from…itself. There was a strange, dusty, dirty divorce on my left foot, and still a small distance to walk. I stepped gingerly down the path, loathing the fact that my in-and-out plan was thwarted. This is the moment to walk through that door, coolly pluck that cheque that out of someone’s fingers, and go back the way you came. You never, ever want to smile weakly and say “There’s actually an awful lot of blood here, mind if I raid the first aid kit for old times sake?” The receptionist was very kind, she guarded the first aid kit politely, (as if I had tried to cut my toe off just to get my hands on unlimited antacids, PMS tablets and finger condoms). After I was washed and bandaged, I took my cheque, and excused myself. Not the graceful exit I had hoped for.
It was not glamorous.
Not chic or elegant.
Not adorably injured, I was bleeding like a hobo after a parking lot knife fight.
And let me tell you, with the money I just received, you can just forget about buying a 24-karat gold wheelchair a la post-hip surgery Lady Gaga.
I limped away, covered in dust and dirt all, my foot throbbing, final cheque in hand. I exhaled. No matter the exit, at least the job was over. And I hobbled towards the future, whatever it held for me, forgetting the injuries of the past.