last night i slept in a parking lot

In someone else’s life this would be a tale of whimsical adventure, star-gazing, and the possible guest appearance of Kristin Stewart in a plaid flannel. But this is mine.

So I met up with a friend last night to grab a quick drink after work. I had this monstrous project that needed to be sent out by 6am this morning, so my plan was to chill out for an hour then head home and work on it, relaxed, refreshed, and responsible.

Well. I am none of those things and clearly never will be.

The bar was empty except for what looked like stunt doubles for the cast of Sons of Anarchy so obviously I felt quite at home. We ordered pints of the deepest, darkest beer and the conniving saleswoman of a bartender asked if we’d like a pitcher instead. Bitch, we are two people. Two responsible adults. Not a couple of idiot kids trying to get drunk at 6pm on a Wednesday.

“Yes.” We told her immediately.

I’d forgotten my lunch that day and hadn’t had dinner yet, meaning there was plenty of room in my stomach for 60 ounces of bad decisions. After an hour and a half, the pitcher was empty, Wednesday was Friday, and I felt like I deserved a thick mustache. I sat in my car and closed my eyes and suddenly I was on that terrible teacup ride at Disneyland. I could even hear children giggling. I looked out my car window to confirm whether or not I was actually insane and saw some punk-ass kids smoking a joint in the vacant parking spot next to mine. Oh, to be young.

All of a sudden I realized that sometime, probably around ounce 25, I’d forgotten the project due the following morning. It was only 8:30, no need to panic. I started my car, then for the first time that night, had a logical thought. I could barely sit up, so no way could I drive, and based on my past sins, could not rely on Jesus to take the wheel for me all the way home.

I considered calling an Uber, then looked at my backseat and decided yes, this is where I shall sleep tonight. Luckily I was parked outside of a 24-Hour Fitness, so if anyone noticed me, I was taking a little pre-workout power nap. Nothing wrong with that.

Right as I was about to drift into the soulless sleep of the damned, my phone beeped. It was an email from my boss asking for a draft of the project so far. It’s like he knew.

I sat up. “You can do this.” I actually said out loud. I had to encourage myself, because in this situation, no one else would. “It’s happening. You got this.” I tried to crawl back into the driver’s seat, and my foot got stuck on that weird middle compartment thing, so I tripped forward and hit the car horn with my flailing hand. The punk stoners looked up from their ganja-induced fog and I came plummeting back to reality. “No.” Apparently now I was lecturing myself. “Bad.” I shimmied to the backseat again and carefully messaged my boss, explaining how Photoshop had crashed my computer so as soon as I rebooted it, I would send him the draft. Again, nothing wrong with that.

Cradled in the warmth of my dirty car and a secondhand high from the children’s cheap street drugs, I sank into a dignified slumber and awoke about five hours later, ready for action. So what that it was 2 in the morning and I had 4 hours to whip together a digital design masterpiece. My judgment may be weak, but my work ethic is not.

As soon as I got home I opened my email to send the draft to my boss, and to my horror saw what I had thought was a carefully-worded reply from earlier that evening. It read:

“Hi K]]]]]]]]]le. The internet is in my computer. My done for the draft exep for keeps crashg. Photoshop photosh. Probably for restart. Draft for sending will be soon. Will for the reboot and then for the send.”

Dear Lord.

He had only replied with “Okay, maybe we have to get you a new computer.”

I sent the draft and slaved away the next few hours to finish the project, and at work this morning made a casual comment about how frustrating it had been trying to type with my computer freezing constantly. My boss just apologized for the defective laptop.

What have I learned from this? To be honest, not much. I hope it teaches someone somewhere to not be like me, and then I can say I’ve done one good deed in this life of shame I lead.

Cheers.

Helen

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