Feeling Strangely Fine

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Feeling Strangely Fine

To be honest, I haven’t been feeling myself lately. This morning I woke up but it felt like I had skipped into an alternative timeline, a parallel universe, or some such nonsense. Call it “off.” I was feeling off.

I had to run my sweet and beautiful woman back to school, we’d left her car there for the procedure. I had a tennis workout planned with my new mixed doubles partner, Lauren. But I was thrown a day ago when we were texting about the arrangements and I asked about her acupuncture and nutrition business. “I own an interior lighting business,” she said. As I was walking into the public courts clubhouse I ran into the coach of the cardio workouts I do, where I met Lauren.

“Lauren said yes,” I told him. I had previously asked him is Lauren would be a good partner for doubles. Today, he said, “She’s gonna run you all over the court. You’re going to be hurting.” We laughed.

I learned Lauren had already paid for her court and mine from the young lady behind the counter. And there she was waiting for me on court 3. Except, it was a different Lauren. Obviously, held my tongue on the acupuncture miss. It wasn’t a miss. It was the wrong Lauren. Yes, I knew this Lauren too. She had been a cardio regular during the summer. This was not the woman I had envisioned when she said, “Yes.”

Okay, so, we get on the court and I’ve forgotten my shoes. They were not in my enormous tennis bag like I expected. I took the three-minute walk back to my car, and… I had forgotten the key fob in my neon green bag. Fk. I did have shoes. I just took about 15 minutes overall, to get us started. This Lauren was unphased. She was stretching against the fence when I got back the second time.

Lauren was a junior tennis champion. She’d taken 27 years off. She had a two-year-old and was ready to “get back into it.” Tennis was uneventful. I noticed my appreciation for Lauren’s youth, fitness, and the quick return of her strokes. Mostly, I noticed she got to every single ball I hit. She was fast. The strokes would return. The serve would improve. And she was the right Lauren, for sure. I got home slightly disappointed and slightly ellated.

I made my famous French toast for myself. Today, I added a small dollop of cannabutter. I had done some technical support work for a friend, she suggested repaying me in cannabutter. Or, pot-butter. Being Delta-9 friendly, I accepted.

I was filling out job applications online when I began to get confused about the incoming “Thank you” emails. Wait, was I getting a reply on my application or just a “thanks” email from them? I opened a few of the messages and read their hopeful messages. “Here’s what to expect next. If we see a fit we’ll contact you. If we don’t, you’ll never hear from us again.”

It was about that time I realized I was staring at a candle that was burning just beneath the picture of my dead mother. I was fixated.

Uh oh. Shit. Oh. I have an interview in two hours. Oh. Man. I need to eat some real food. Oh. I’m also sleepy. Damn. I’m high high high. I’m too blitzed to speak to anyone, even a phone screen. I’m s l o w w w w w w.

I climbed in bed. Scrambled thoughts of my recent boss.

Oh no. This won’t work.

I changed the channel and put on some music. The Airpod Pros sound amazing. This is what Spatial Audio(tm) should sound like, but doesn’t. Even the music was a bit overwhelming. I found some way to suspend the terror and anxiety beginning to peek in over the din of green noise (Like white noise, but from being high) and was able to sleep for an hour or so I thought.

I pulled out my laptop again and found the interview link. “Change time.” Was an option. It did ask for a reason for the reschedule.

“Sporting injury.”

Read more Short-Short Stories from John.

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