Time-worn steps creaking beneath my hurried pace as I am rushing down the staircase of the apartment building with the kid in my arms, countless bags, stuffed animals, a nursing bottle, and dozens of whatchamacallits swinging from my fingers. For some reason the elevator had to be out of order this morning and I’m already terribly late.
Undoubtedly the world is callous, reality is soul-wrenching, plus I didn’t have time for breakfast.
Eine Kleine Gigue starts playing in my coat’s inside pocket. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s lovely piano piece has never been this annoying. The vow of the moment flashes through my mind: change your ringtone ASAP!
I couldn’t answer the phone even if I had nine arms, not even if my life would depend on it, I’m thinking to myself, and then I realize my life might actually depend on this call, maybe it’s about the job interview. I imagine my future boss waiting on the other end of the line patiently. But for how long? Perhaps another few seconds.
I move quickly but carefully, so I don’t drop my daughter, and I twist around myself like some accidental escape artist. Plastic tastes plastic that gets confirmed as I grab some of the bags’ handles between my teeth, and I reach into my pocket. My fingertips are chasing the phone, but it keeps slipping away. A droplet of sweat forms on my forehead, and in the meantime, Eine Kleine Gigue slowly drives me nuts. Finally I can grab the phone and pull it out. I take a deep breath to get ready answering my future boss.
Mozart plays, the screen says ‘Mom’.
Lava-hot wave of impatience floods my mind: my mother has a special talent for calling me in the most unsuitable moments and this is one of them indeed. However, the ambush of a side thought hits me dead center and makes me stop. I have to lean against the handrail as I can feel that this particular thought is too powerful — one could say shocking —, and I wouldn’t like to stumble off the stairs with my three-year-old in my arms.
Actually, this thought whispers, your mother isn’t the one always calling you at the wrong time; you are the one for whom it is never the right time. Because you are constantly in a hurry. You are always so busy; you are always doing something extremely important that cannot wait. As if you’d be constantly paving the way for the universe. Just like now, with all those bags in your mouth.