$41.15

It’s a foggy, drizzly Monday evening that seems to match the mental fog which enveloped my weekend mind. Friday was surgery day for the dog, complete with post-op angst about whether to apply an “Elizabethan Collar” (rough! It’s a cone!)  or to purchase and expedite a “No-Bite” neck brace via the web, or choose the item we finally settled on: an inflatable tube collar that seems to be working, or at least I’ll find out in an hour, if I can remember to detrain at the station that has my car. It’s been a long time since I had a sleep-deprived night, but the experience comes back in a nanosecond: the hot shower blast you hope will launch you into the next day, your general movement around the house unsure if accomplishment follows, and, for me, a “fog of the mind,” in which little problems grow too big, and big ones, too overwhelming.

By the Sunday afternoon run to gas up the car and get the lunch groceries for the week, the sun was beginning to peek through. Randomly, I decided to guess how much the gas would cost. I do confess that sometimes I play this game at the grocery, noticing when the sum matches a significant year ($19.82) or when the date forms a curious string (1-1-11). The gas gauge was on empty, this I knew, and the warning light had just come on. From somewhere on my numbers side, I divined, “Let’s see, that tank was $41.00.” Volia! Off by only 15 cents.

This was a tiny victory in a non-competition: just a lucky guess, but it made me feel better. Ahead of us were the end of the weekend jobs: laundry, (I just realized I never finished drying that load, oh well…) the bills, the various decisions being discussed around the family table and associated paperwork that was due tomorrow,  and through it all the continued cold and damp. There at the corner fill-up, I’d made up a game for myself and come close to target. I hope the dog recovery and other duties of the week come close to their targets, too.

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