Today was my first day back to work after a three week winter break…sorta. I actually worked nearly everyday throughout the break, but I got to do my work wherever I pleased – riding in the car, bicycling at the gym, sitting in the bathtub – instead of being holed up in an office.
I had a rather surreal morning. After my 2 1/2 hour commute, I pulled up to the window at Starbucks and the Latte Boy handed me my coffee and said that the car in front of me had paid for my drink and told him to wish me a “Happy…whatever!” That is the second time this year a random stranger has paid for my drink here. Ten minutes later I was walking to my office when a colleague stopped me in the hallway to lavish me with praise over a report I’d written.
Things started off so well, but then somewhere along the way they went horribly awry. Currently, I am cherry popsicle cold and twice as fruity (but with no artificial colors or ingredients). I’ve just returned from a failed quest in 16 degree weather and I’m convinced that I’m being chased by bad chicken kharma. Where oh where should I start this sordid tale?
I think I accidentally broke guideline #1 in The Supreme Master Ching Hai’s sainthood directions. “Don’t hurt any living being,” she writes and explains that this means eating a vegetarian diet. She goes on to say that milk is ok because it does not injure the cow, but neither fertilized nor unfertilized eggs are ok because it involves “half-killing.” It’s only day two, but I can already tell you that this no egg business is going to be a major area of difficulty. One problem here is that cupcakes are made with eggs. I can do without meat. I can do without alcohol. I can live without many, many things, but seriously…I have to give up CUPCAKES?! It wasn’t even the cupcakes that got me today. I snacked on cereal and almonds throughout the day. Went to a dance class, then afterwards I stopped at Tropical Smoothie Cafe and ordered a mediterranean veggie flatbread. It’s all lettuce and onions and humus — I figured I was in the clear, but afterwards it occurred to me that the flatbread was likely made of eggs. Blarg. ‘Oh well,’ I thought ‘it’s no big deal…right?’
When I finally made it home to my apartment, I was greeting by “chirping.” At least that’s what the manufacturer calls that soul-piercing sound coming from my smoke detector in one minute intervals to indicate the battery is low. “Chirping.” The word evokes images of sweet feathery birdsong. But I promise you this sound is not that. This sound is one I can hear when the door is closed and I am outside my building downstairs. This particular “chirp” makes me want to jump out of my skin every minute when it sounds. This is the sound of one million baby chicken souls crying out from purgatory.
I have two smoke detectors. They’re connected. One is on my bedroom ceiling. One is on the vaulted ceiling in the livingroom. The bedroom detector I can reach while standing on a barstool. I climbed up and pulled the battery out. In the process, I broke some little plastic piece off of it. Ooops. Well the thing continued CHIRP CHIRP CHIRPING without its battery. The one on the vaulted ceiling I can’t reach from the barstool.
“Knock it down with a broom handle? While standing on a chair? In heels?” a friend advises.
She knows I fall. A lot. I fall a lot. Falling a lot runs in my family. I have the documentation to prove it. (Read the blogs people…it’s all in there.) And let’s face it — I just don’t want to have to explain to my students how I broke my leg in a bad chicken kharma accident.
It’s after office hours, but my apartment building has onsite people who fix things in an emergency. Is this an emergency? Demonic baby chicken souls chirping at me incessantly certainly seems like an emergency to me! I call the apartment manager. She says they can fix it in the morning, but she can’t justify sending someone out tonight. Obviously we have vastly different perceptions about what constitues an emergency and what does not.
I decide to be an adult about it all and brave the cold at 11:00 at night to go to Walmart to buy a battery, hence my current popsicle condition. The bedroom fire alarm battery has now been changed, but did that stop the chirping? No. That piece I broke off the thing might have something to do with it.
I haven’t done my daily meditation yet on light and sound, unless this blog counts. If it doesn’t fine. I have the rest of the night left to meditate on sound. No more eggs. Got it!