I do not think a writing instructor should be late for class. On top of that, I am never late. Usually, I am early. I am incredibly punctual. Once I began to wonder if my punctuality was obsessive and so forced myself to be late a couple of times going to class. That was years ago. But lately I find myself being late. Not by much, mind you. Also I forget things more than ever. So being late to class has worked me up into complete fiddle-faddle. Not only am I late, but being late is a sign of my weakening mental condition and insipient senility. For god’s sake, I don’t know how I live with myself.
So rather than roll the data projector along a route that is all sidewalk, I decide to take a short cut. I take some sidewalk, cut across a parking lot, and reach an embankment. I was going to go around the embankment but miscalculated. Going around will go a long way in the wrong direction.
The data projector is strapped down to the top the cart with one of those elastic cords I used to use when I strapped things to the back rack of my bicycle when I rode my bicycle before my neck gave out. My bag full of stuff is sitting there too on top perched precariously next to the data projector because it is so full of stuff I could not jam it into one of the shelves on the cart.
I would call it a semi-sharp, slightly sloping embankment. I have walked up it and down it before as part of my short cut, but I have not tried to roll a cart with a data projector down it. Those damn eucalyptus trees grow along the embankment, and they have dropped their berries or nuts—or whatever the damn useless things are called—all along the embankment. So going down the embankment will be somewhat like walking over ball bearings. I am buffaloed. I have an image of myself lying flat on my back at the base of the embankment with the data project cart lying on top of me and the contents of my bag scattered from here to eternity.
I hate those damn eucalyptus tress; they are a non indigenous import from Australia. They do not belong in California, but they arrived in the 19th century. They have stayed and they have proliferated. They are always dropping shit—their little berries and they shed their skin too. They make a mess and nothing can live below them because of the toxins they emit. I consider them a large noxious overgrown weed.
In any case, I decide I must go around the embankment because I don’t want to do myself bodily harm. I mean, I tell myself, what the hell is the big deal? Why should you rush and do yourself bodily injury just to avoid being a few minutes late. What could possibly be the big deal, you idiot, I harangue myself.
Having managed to subdue, if not calm, myself, I walk around the embankment pulling that loathsome cart and finally get to the side of the building where my class is. These classes have doors that open out into the air. There’s a whole row of these classrooms, they all look alike, and I realize I don’t remember the number of my classroom. To find out what the number is will require that I dig into my bag, plow though its contents—aspirin, batteries, antacids, paper of all kind, pencils, pens, bits of chalk, my coffee container, my laptop, the cords to my laptop and locate the damn piece of paper with the number on it.
I am overcome by thought. If I was not a stoic and I were in touch with my true feelings, I would go off somewhere and just cry my eyes out.