The Cost of Being Clair

Posted on May 3, 2012 in Me | 0 comments

“Where are my keys?! I swear to GOD I put them in my bag about 2 seconds ago…”

If I had a dollar for every time I thought this…I once walked around Woolworths for half an hour checking other people’s shopping baskets in an attempt to find the thief who stole my bag after I mindlessly put it on the ground in front of the freezer.  Turns out it was in MY shopping basket covered with grocery items.

I’m an absent minded genius. Minus the genius. Just pure confusion on everyday skills like taking my laptop with me when I leave a room, getting an address before I jump in the car to drive there or keeping tags on clothes I’ve decided to return. It’s like I have two brains. One conscious one presumably with a modicum of common sense but easily distracted by whatever day dream is running through my brain at the time. The other subconscious one gleefully operating my hands without the use of memory, foresight or logic to create maximum mayhem for when the conscious brain gets wind that Something’s Not Quite Right. Friends and family don’t understand how I can’t remember where my purse is when I paid for something with it a couple of minutes ago. I hope the above explains it. I have two brains.

The necessity of taming my Subconscious brain was brought into painfully sharp focus yesterday through a series of unfortunate events which led to me standing on a street corner at night, in the middle of Kew, in the pouring rain with the flu, bawling like a 3 year old.

It started with getting to work late.  I live in a Quantum Physics world; the ‘time it takes’ to get somewhere is dependent on how long I have to get somewhere.  A 30 minute tram ride to work is reduced to only 15 minutes between the moments of waking to an alarm and pressing the snooze button.  Trams don’t seem to understand this and infuriatingly take the usual amount of time to arrive anywhere, even when you’re in a hurry.

At lunchtime, I spent an hour and a half troopsing my way across the city (again, trams) to renew my British Passport only to discover I hadn’t filled out a section correctly so would have to do it all again tomorrow.  On my way back to the office, I ‘borrowed’ a restaurant’s bathroom and left my umbrella there. Back at the office, I had an uncomfortable discussion with my boss about the flexibility (or rather inflexibility) of my work hours to fit around my increasingly hectic uni schedule before standing in the rain for another 5 minutes without an umbrella waiting for the dreaded tram home.

Safe and warm in a corner seat, I look up from the book I’m reading with some confusion at unfamiliar houses and landmarks whooshing by.  Dammit.  I’ve missed my stop (this happens regularly) and will now have to walk a few blocks back home in the rain.  Without an umbrella.  It wasn’t until I google mapped my current location to find out just exactly how far I was from my stop that I realised…

The wrong tram.

I got. On the Wrong. Tram.

How does someone do that?  The number 48 looks nothing like 75!  Now I’m in Kew.  20 blocks from my place and no direct tram line.  In the rain.  Without an umbrella.  Sick and hungry.  I rang the only friend I know in Kew to see if he was home and could come get me.  No go.  I wandered across the road and caught the 48 tram back to where I was pretty sure the line intersects with tram 75.

I could double check if it’s the right intersection on google maps.  But then, I could also just sit here in the warm tram, taking a gamble that my lack of effort will be made up for by luck; it’s a game I like to play with myself.  Wing it and if you get it right, you haven’t spent unnecessary effort on details.  The feeling of winning is euphoric and addictive.  Losing can be a bitch though.  Hopping off the tram, I cross at the lights in wind and rain and look up the road tram 75 was supposed to use to take me home.  There are no tram tracks on it.  Wrong intersection!  Dammit.

I run back across the road to the tram I just got off still waiting at the red light, shoes soaking up the puddles, and raise my hand to the tram driver in his big control pit as I cross right in front of him. A younger guy with a short haircut and tanned skin, he was leaning forward on his dashboard, surveying the intersection and then me as I shivered around to the side door expecting it to open and let me into the warmth and safety of the carriage.

But without taking his eyes off me, he releases his foot off the brake, letting the tram roll on through the now green light to trundle on down the wet, dark street to the next intersection.  75 tram’s intersection.  I stood, stunned, wet, cold and sick by the side of the road, shivering and did what every self respecting 26 year old professional female does after a day of continual frustration. I started crying. Out loud. With a big “I’m crying” wrinkly face. Maybe one of the cars only a metre away would take pity on me and offer to drive me home? I’m a damsel in distress for goodness sake!!

3 minutes later and that tactic not working, I pull out my phone, order a taxi and enter all the things my random brain had made me mess up that day into an excel spreadsheet. (Geek? Yes.)  Yesterday’s Cost of Being Clair was $135, not including emotional trauma damages over the loss of my favourite Audrey Hepburn style umbrella.

Do I have early dementia perhaps?

Bit of light reading over your coffee?