Posted by: anniewilson | November 18, 2008

Damn, it was a long, long night!

Last night I stayed up all night writing two short articles. Together they were barely 2000 words and that shouldn’t be tough at all. The tough part is the research and keeping the footnotes and reference’s in sync with the numbers next to the quotes. I always screw that up and end up doing it at least twice, usually three times. But last night I couldn’t keep from deleting all of my footnotes and quotes before I finished writing the last article.

That pretty much meant that I had to start over again and by that time, it was well after midnight. I already had the first article taken care of, I wrote that one before 11 PM. That took me at least 3 hours so I decided that I needed a short break. I took the break in front of the television which I’m doing less and less everyday and when I did, I did what I usually do…I checked the guide to see if there was anything worth watching. Of course there wasn’t so next I just watched previously Tivo-ed Family Guy and South Park.

In an attempt to keep my brain sharp, I drank coffee as I was watching TV (instant, a lot of it in a relatively small cup of water) just to keep alert. I drank so much coffee that it occurred to me that it was too much caffeine for any heart so I stopped and went back to the drink of the South, iced tea.

I even took a walk with the dog. I decided to go get myself one of these great blueberry donuts that they only sell at the store/gas station around the corner. I was already wearing long johns under my clothes and since I was sure that it would be even colder outside, I put two sweat shirts on over the two tops I already had. One sweatshirt was pretty much my size so I put that on first and then I covered it with a baggy old Roanoke College sweatshirt.

Next…my legs. On top of my long johns, I was wearing a pair of soft cotton pants with those things that keep the pants leg down. I forget what they’re called but they hang off the bottom of the pants and if you don’t shrink them, you can easily but the strap under your foot and into your shoe. That was fine for inside but to go out at 1 AM, I knew that I would need more. Trying to make it easy on myself, I grabbed the baggiest pair of sweats that I had (which were puke green) and put them on. I tied the string so they wouldn’t fall down and the other pants were attached to my feet so they couldn’t fall up.

Of course I need to take care of my poor little feet but since I was already wearing two pair of socks with hospital footies on over them, I just looked for shoes that I could fit my overdressed feet into. The pair that worked were a very expensive pair of shoes that I hated. Someone gave me a very nice pair of running shoes that I never would have bought for myself. Occasionally I do find a reason to wear them, like last night. But for the most part, they just take up space in my shoe thingie. The reason that I don’t like them is that they are so fricking huge. I usually wear little tenny boppers that lace up and compared to them, the running shoes make me look like I have Bozo feet. I feel as though I’m walking with a bucket on each foot. But, they fit over my two pairs of socks and my one pair of footies. So, I put them on, strapped the Velcro (I despise Velcro) down and stood up ready to go.

But…before I could leave the house I needed to get two more things, a hat and a pair of gloves. I have a pair of pink gloves that came with a matching pink cap so I put those on. I pulled the cap down over my eyebrows and then I folded it up so that I could see and I pulled it down in the back and I was ready to go.

I found the leash and Payton, who was already excited to go out because he knows what it means when I change clothes and put on shoes, was doing his best to impress me so that I would take him with. He was sitting, staying, licking and all the time barely restraining his glee as he anticipated the outing that he hoped was coming.

I looked in the mirror at my layers of clothes. Not ONE thing that I was wearing matched any other thing. It’s hard to put on so many clothes and not have something match…but I did it. And, with those Bozo feet. Jeez, I looked ridiculous. But I wanted that stupid donut so I stood there waiting for Payton to remember on his own that he has to sit before I’ll leash him up. I stopped telling him, he knows that he has to sit down for me to put the leash on. He stares at me for 3 seconds wondering why I’m standing still with a leash in my hand before it occurs to him that he needs to sit. So when he did, I put the leash on him and out the door we went.

It was pretty fricking cold out there so you certainly couldn’t say that I overdid the layers. You could absolutely say that I looked like an idiot, but you couldn’t say that I had on too many clothes for the weather.

As I turned left out of my driveway it occurred to be that all I needed to complete my ensemble was a grocery cart full of empty cans, cigarette butts and 40 year old pictures of Donny Osmond. For some reason that reminded me of Delta Dawn so right then I got that stupid song stuck in my head.

Now, if I wanted to go to the grocery store, I would have had to turn right out of the drive but since I was just going to the corner store, I turned left. I should have known better. I had to walk pretty much all the way to the store before I could see that it wasn’t open.

I thought about what I should do and since I was pretty comfortable despite the cold, blustery night and Payton was certainly up for anything, I just started walking down that street to the grocery store. That’s quite a hike, trust me. But when I would get tuckered or have problems going uphill, Payton would pull me so that actually helped. Of course he occasionally tries to bring me down so that I can break a hip, but so far I’ve been OK. So, it was off to the grocery store for us.

As I passed the Waffle House I smiled at the thought that even if I wanted to go in and get some waffles, I wasn’t dressed well enough. And wouldn’t you know it, just as I passed the Waffle House, a Marietta City cop passed by me in the parking lot. He went down the street and I kept walking. Eventually I passed another parking lot and the cop was sitting in there. I must have concerned him because he shone his lights on me and my dog. I would have preferred it if he came right up to me and asked me what I was doing walking around in the middle of the night dressed like a bum. But no, he chose to shine lights on my Bozo shoes. Just for a second, I think the puke green sweat pants gave off a glow from the cops light. He turned it off and Payton and I kept walking.

Another cop came from the other way and slowed down to look at me but didn’t stop. I never made eye contact with them because I wasn’t wearing my glasses and I wouldn’t know how to respond, with a smile, a hello or a scowl. Whatever. I bet they both would have said something if I was singing Delta Dawn out loud, but it was just stuck in my head.

Those two cops drove around the blocks that I was walking along all the way to the grocery store. When I got there, I went in and bought a sad replacement for the original blueberry donuts and 4 Totino’s Pizza’s. I’m getting sick of Ramen Noodles and hot dogs.

Once we got to the store, after walking the LONG way…it was an easy hike back home. Payton and I started off down the road that I’ve been walking and driving for 12 years. Between my house and the grocery store, there are only two roads. One right turn and then you go straight until you get to my house. That’s easy enough, you would think that I could do it blindfolded.

But at some point after I made the right turn (and I don’t know where) I noticed a side street that I never noticed before. I thought, “How could I have missed that street for 12 years?” Well, just then I was approaching a street sign that I couldn’t quite read but I could tell it didn’t say Polk Street and that’s where I thought I was. I saw another street that I was pretty sure would lead me back to Pauline which would take me back to Polk. At that point, I had no clue what the hell I was doing. If I was lost in a subdivision in the middle of the night, half blind…what should I do? I decided that if I had to, I would follow the North Star. I had no idea in which direction I was going but it would have kept me moving straight.

I needn’t have worried, I was right about the first street. It led me to Pauline and then to Polk. By the time I got home I was beginning to get uncomfortably cold. Even with the gloves I had to switch carrying arms so that I could warm up the other hand in my pocket.

That trip took well over an hour and by the time I ate one of the pizzas, it was close to 3 AM. I busted my ass doing what I could to finish that article. By the time I finally went to bed the morning news was on.

Now I have to go back to the article and see what I did. The coffee and cold weather training was supposed to wake me up but it didn’t. There’s just no way to avoid the stupids after 24 hours of being wide awake and I passed that at 5 AM.

I don’t think I’ll be writing after being up for 24 hours straight anymore. Besides, at my age I should be going to bed at a decent hour every night. Of course, I shouldn’t be walking a dog that outweighs me either…but I like to live life on the edge.

: )

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