Friday, March 21, 2008

Bad Start to a Good Day

It's Good Friday today, a misnomer for sure because I'd lay money that the people watching Christ walk to the cross didn't think it was a very good day. It's possible that our Lord thought it was good in an "I'm saving all people from eternal death from sin forever because I love them just that much" sort of way. But I've never really gotten the whole "Good" label. Of course the schedules for Good Friday and Easter are lunar based, if I remember correctly (and if I don't, allow me the bliss of ignorance), plus the early church established dates for the Christian calendar with an eye on the pagan one so that the heathens could just convert without loosing their holiday schedules. So perhaps the "good " tag has similar antecedents.

Whatever the case, I am not having a good day so far. It began at the nagging hour of 6:15 when I had to wake up to move the car out of the temporary parking in the school lot across the street from my building. Of course the school is closed today, but that may or may not have bearing on the elusive gate keeper who may or may not chose to close and lock the gates, potentially locking my car inside. On a normal day, if there are cars left in the lot after the appointed 6:30am hour, a police cruiser will show up and kindly turn on the loudest siren in the known universe to alert the neighborhood that some jackass had neglected to get their car out of the way. When that doesn't work, the same sadistic police officer in charge of the siren will then scan license plates and knock on doors.

Being a champion sleeper, I have, in the past, slept through my alarm and been roused by the dulcet clang of my doorbell (courtesy of the cops) inspiring me to spring up from bed (tossing cats left and right in the process), grab my keys, and sprint down three flights of stairs to move my car. One memorable September day a few years ago when I was out of work, I'd come back late from my mother's apartment in Philadelphia and parked in the lot, because in those halcyon days, the lot was open for parking all summer long. Two years ago, they built a new wing on the school, repaved the lot, and became suddenly pristine with the parking rules 365 days/year. Fascists.

On that particular early September morning, when my doorbell rang at around 7am I was so sleepy that I did my spring - sprint thing, but missed the grab portion and wound up downstairs answering the door in my summer pajamas sans car keys. The paternal looking cop stared at me oddly and requested that I move my car. I blinked at him and said that the school didn't open till September 7th. He just continued to stare at me, waiting for me to catch on. That's when I realized: "You're going to tell me today's Sept 7th, right?" He nodded.

Either I was really in bad shape or he just like my legs in my shorty pajamas (yeah, I'm betting that I was in really bad shape) because he waited while I went back upstairs for my keys, then followed me as I drove around the block looking for a parking spot, before insisting on driving me back around to my house as somewhere in my sleep haze, I'd totally forgotten to wear shoes. Not really so unusual as I rarely wear shoes when I don't have to from about April to October, but apparently enough of a concern that it warranted police protection. Eh - maybe it was my legs.

So I have issues with parking in the school lot and have sat outside for upwards of an hour waiting for someone to pull out to avoid parking there. Last night though, I was at rehearsal for Good Friday & Easter services until 9:30 pm, which meant I didn't get home till 10pm. I still had to unload the car, set up the communion tableau on the dining room table so there'd be some semblance of holiness in our lives for this important (if misnamed) day, do some prep stuff for Friday (today) and about 12,000 other tasks I had on my mental list. Well, I got the communion tableau done, (complete with the ceremonial draining of the alternative cup. Can't waste sacramental wine you know) and then just packed it in.

Which brings up back to this morning when I slept through my alarm clock, internalizing the buzzing into my dream so that I woke up 20 minutes late, slammed on clothes in the dark while the cats looked on curiously from their respective sleepy perches on bed and radiator, and bundled into my wool coat cause it's bloody windy and cold out there today. I grabbed the recyclables on my way down the stairs, and dumped them into the bin before going to the car, only to realize I couldn't find my keys. The keys that were in my coat pocket minutes before.

Glad that I had the foresight to leave the front door open, I climbed back up the stairs and still couldn't find the keys. So there I am, tearing my bedroom apart looking for my spare car key because I'm figuring that I must have thrown the keys out with the recyclables because there's nowhere else they could be, but I don't want to go back down three flights and be wrong, so I want my spare key to be sure I can move the stinking car before they close (or don't close) the gate. Well, by now I've woken Mom up and I'm yelling and swearing and the cats take off when I dump the basket of sunglasses and state quarters all over the bed as Tornado Kiersten spews through the room.

Of course, the keys were in fact in the recyclable bin. By now, I've shed my wool coat in the frenzy of searching for my keys, I'm brewing a headache from last night's (cough) ceremonial wine, and am going round and round the rosie with my car searching for a spot that I'm pretty sure I don't need but if I leave my car in the lot, I'm certain it'll be the one day the gate gets locked on the holiday, so I'm searching. I appear, however, to be the only sap in the neighborhood actually going to work, because the streets are nearly exactly the same as they were the night before - same cars taking up the same two or three spaces with the same out-of-state license plates (Oi, don't even get me started). After 2o minutes, I found one car on my street with lights and engine on warming itself up. So I sat there for another 20 minutes waiting for the fool to come out of his apartment and move the car, praying that someone steals the car in the meantime so that the idiot will learn not to turn his car on and walk away, when that same idiot comes out, TURNS THE CAR OFF, and goes back inside.

I. Was. Not. A. Happy. Camper.

It's 7 bloody 30 when I finally get a spot and traipse back upstairs. Mom, in the meantime, put my drawer and basket back together, cleaning up the mess left behind by Tornado Kiersten amidst a creaky morning back and her own sleepy fog. Needless to say, we were nearly an hour behind schedule this morning.

A less than auspicious start to a marathon Holy weekend. I think I've got 30 minutes of reverence and holiness schedule somewhere this evening and another 20 penciled in for Sunday. I'm always amazed that participating in worship and facilitating a holiday service for other people can so drain you of any opportunity for reflection and worship yourself. Sometimes, when I feel the Holy Spirit in the middle of a song, I believe it's worth it. The rest of the time is spent working towards that moment. A lot of it's spent moving forward without that moment, trusting that the Spirit moves with you even then too.

It was Eddie Izzard who perked me up this morning, and now I share that perk with you. For those of you not in know (which may be all of you) Eddie Izzard is a gut-bustingly funny British comedian (currently staring on the FX channel's show, The Riches) who began as a stand-up transvestite comedian. Weird, but very funny. I found this clip this morning of his schtick about the Death Star cafeteria as dramatized by Legos, a double pleasure for me as I am a Star Wars nut. A nut in the I have the movies (several versions, on VHS and DVD), the Trivial Pursuit (where I kick some serious butt) and Monopoly games, and the wealth of action figures, set pieces, and a priceless Millenium Falcon still reign as the best Christmas presents ever way. But not in the dress up and attend conventions way.

Which makes Death Star Canteen doubly special for me. Fair play: the language can get a little blue, so don't click if you offend easily. And, for the curious, yes, I can talk earnestly about the Holy Spirit and link to a slightly off-color Eddie Izzard clip in the same electronic breath. I'm a complicated woman - it's part of my charm.

Wishing all of you a blessed and joyous Easter day rejoicing that the tomb stands open wide.

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