Master of Contingencies

Today I worked three jobs, which isn’t unusual. My plan: three hours at one office, three hours at the next office, then half an hour to get to the restaurant, where I would be the opening host out on the rooftop deck.

I wore my red, lightweight cropped pants with a long, lightweight, pink blouse and a belt. My fake woven-leather flats (my favorite). A navy blazer, a bike helmet. It was supposed to be hot today, hitting 80 in the afternoon, but I’m always cold in the first office, and often in the second, and the chance of rain in the evening hours was variable, hovering around 30 or 40 percent. A blazer is better than a sweater for rain, and better than a jacket for the office (and my jackets aren’t waterproof anyway). 

I stuffed my little red backpack to the brim. At the bottom, my planner and my small notebook, along with a novel to read in case I found myself stranded, unwilling to make my way home, and needed to hide in a café until a storm passed. Then my makeup bag, so at the tail end of job two I could do my face for job three. My workout clothes, in case I made it downtown and was told to go home right away, or close to it—in which case I could go to the Y, and a soggy walk wouldn’t have been completely for nothing. I tied my sneakers by the laces and hung them on the outside of the bag, from one of the straps, because they wouldn’t fit. I also had a little tupperware of apples inside my tupperware of rice and chicken for lunch, which I put off eating until after two so it would tide me over through dinnertime, or as much as it could. I wasn't going to have time for dinner, not with a 3:45 start time on the deck. My water bottle, of course. A pair of cheap Old Navy flip flops I’ve had for six years, shoved down one side in a plastic bag—they’re the most compact and least destructible change of shoes, a slippery but convenient backup in order to keep my real shoes dry in a rainy commute. In the other corner, I had slid my umbrella. On top, cell phone and sunglasses case and extra plastic bag, in case my bike seat got wet and I still wanted to ride.

The deck was closed tonight. It stormed; it threatened tornadoes. I made it to work, mostly dry, although I had to abandon my bike halfway there. I clocked three and a half hours working inside, and I am very tired. 

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