most days at work i run across the street to get a baked potato for lunch, hanging a "be back in 5 minutes" sign on the door of the store. while i run or half-jog or speed walk or scurry as fast as my 4 inch heels will allow, my mind inevitably begins to formulate what i have begun referring to as my "story of the day".
simply put, the "story of the day" is that day's excuse, concocted to make the D-cubed store clientele (demeaning, demanding and degrading), who may or may not be waiting to get into the store when i return, a little less so. as a writer i think making up stories (translation: flat out lying to strangers) is something to which i am predisposed. im sure my other artist friends have their own version of the "story of the day" game. tell me about yours.
some days i go for hours without seeing another living soul (not that i see any dead souls either; im no haley joel osment). still, no matter when i run to get my stupid potato, it seems there is a direct correlation between my leaving the store and people arriving. many a time i've returned to find a woman (or five) angrily tapping her (so-last-year) tori burch flats, arms crossed, botoxed face pseudo-frowning, waiting outside the locked door when i return. these women's glares tell me i should be sorry i made them wait three extra minutes to play a rousing game of slave-massa. my potato gets cold while i run back and forth fetching size 2 garments for their very un-size 2 asses.
one day when i returned to find a lady waiting at the door, she unfurled the wrath of hell on me, all dante's inferno-like. where was i and people are waiting and leaving the store is not good for business and shes a paying customer blah blah blah. because, you know, wanting to peruse racks of overpriced clothing is as critical to survival as food and water and how dare i be so irresponsible so as to make her wait an extra three minutes and nearly deprive her of that. and that's when it just came out.
"im diabetic and i was about to go into shock."
"i usually have some snacks here but one of the other girls ate them. if i didnt go grab something to get my blood sugar up, i could have lapsed into a diabetic coma."
its times like these that i begin to question my sanity. or, rather, not question it, but question the degree to which i had previously believed it had deteriorated. clearly, i underestimated things.
diabetic? really? who does that? diabetes is not a laughing matter and definitely not something to exploit, unless your name is bret michaels. or wilford brimley.
but it caught the lady off guard and she totally backed off. she was almost nice about it, going so far as to regale me---as people so often do with any affliction---with tales of her diabetic cousin, and insisted that i eat my potato immediately and nevermind her. she could pick out her own size 2 jeans.
and thus, the "story of the day" was born. while i avoid the admittedly repugnant illness-faking lie i told initially, it is now the highlight of my day to see what strange and twisted tale i can weave to justify a (what should be an unjustifiable) need for lunch. some days i get to use my story. others, no one is pounding down the doors for overpriced garb and i wind up keeping it to myself.
but, should anyone today need to know, im on a strict diet for a story im writing for a major publication, requiring that i eat at least one potato a day. really.