Occasionally something happens to me that causes me to question my sanity with actual bona-fide fear. An event occurs which escapes the parameters within which I define reality. You know, common sense reference points. Things you rely on, that you can count on, like... the Sun will rise, the Sun will set, there is oxygen in the air, the moon is up there going around the earth, I have a job, I know people, my mom loves me. Things like that. Things that are facts.
Then a thing happens that throws all of that right out the window. Just tosses all of that away like a piece of paper thrown out the car window, like it weren't never worth anything at all. Your sanity. Tosses your sanity out the window. My sanity. I guess that's what I'm getting at. So here's what happened:
Tonight I got off work and I walked up to Albertson's to buy these steaks that they have on special. They're buy 2 get 1 free, which is crazy, but they keep doing it, so I don't know... I guess they're crazy, so I keep going up there after work and buying them. It's like the recent gas prices. I never thought they would go below 3 dollars again, but here they are, below 3 dollars. I guess the whole world is crazy, which is kind of what I'm getting at with this. Anyway, back on track.
I bought the crazy steaks with the crazy prices at the crazy store, and I walked my crazy feet across the crazy highway to the crazy Racetrack convenience store. What with everything being crazy and all, I did this crazy thing and went inside and bought a crazy bottle of crazy water. Then I left. With the water. Right? You'd think that's what would have happened, right? That after doing that crazy thing; buying that crazy bottle of water and all, that I would then do this crazy thing, like... that I would actually leave the store with the water? And that there wouldn't be anything crazy about it at all? Huh? Right?
So here's what happened. Again. By the way, it may seem like I'm building up to some really big thing, but I'm really not. I mean, at the time it seemed completely insane to me - like it really was a really big thing, what with 'big' meaning 'insane', you know - and I still think that it was, but in hindsight it doesn't seem that way. I mean, in retrospect it would seem to me that it wouldn't seem like a really big insane thing to someone that I might be telling this to, right? Like, it seems that it would seem to be a big deal to me, but not to you, right? If I put myself in your shoes? Do you get it? That is, what I'm getting at? Do you get that? Right! ANYWAY!
So... so. So what the heck does so mean, anyway? What is that? Why does it seem natural to continue an interrupted thought by re-introducing it with the word 'so'? Is it just a sign of insecurity, like 'like'? Or, you know... like, 'you know'? I mean... aw crap. Isn't 'I mean' one, too? Anyway. Hells bells. That's one too. Isn't it? Isn't 'anyway' another one? Yeesh... whatever. You know, 'whatever' is probably even another frikin' one, come to think of it... you know? And you know another thing? Fuck it, I'm tired.
So anyway! I bought this bottle of water, and after I'd walked about a hundred yards away from the store, I decided that I wanted a drink. And since I'd just purchased a bottle of water not a minute and a half ago, I figured that I would just take me a nice drink out of it... only. Only, you see... only there weren't no bottle of water...!
? thought I, as I rummaged through my plastic bag - the exact same plastic bag inside of which I had fully expected my bottle of water to be contained. However, this was not the case, as it was not there. I realize that it's strange that I should wax eloquent over such a seemingly trivial matter, but unusual events compel me to do so. Allow me reiterate, as this is a fairly important observance - THE BOTTLE OF WATER WAS NOT THERE.
The bottle of water - the one i had just purchased - was not in my plastic bag. I looked inside of it and all through it... up, down, left, right, forward, backward, inside, outside, between, betwixt and behind, before during and after. I retraced my steps to the store, and back again to the place where I'd first noticed that the bottle of water was missing... twice. I rummaged through my bag again. You know, that plastic bag I was just going on about. I went through it the same way, again. I mean, there ain't a whole lot of real estate inside a plastic bag for a bottle of water to take up residence, you know? Well, continuing under the assumption that I am a relatively sane person with no legitimate reason to fabricate a story about whatever this is going to turn out to be about, I'll continue.
So (there's that word again), having searched for the bottle of water that I had just purchased only minutes before, and having come up empty handed, I was understandably befuddled, now wasn't I? Certainly. I had just purchased a bottle of water, but I didn't have the bottle of water. I'd searched well for that bottler of water, high and low, but I still didn't have that bottle of water. Anyone would have been befuddled. I was legitimately befuddled as I retraced my steps to the store, and it was in this state of befuddlementness that I finally decided to go back inside and ask the clerk if I had even left the store with the dang thing in my possession in the first place, as this often happens at the 7-Eleven where I work. I had high hopes, but to my dismay, the clerk seemed to be similarly befuddleded. So, despondent, I thanked him, and as I was turning to leave, the clerk said, "Hey, just grab you another one. No biggie."
Wow. Incredible! I thanked the guy - the clerk - my hero, over and over again, thinking about how rare it is that we'll run across an authentic human being during the normal course of events throughout the day, like this one, and how it kind of sucks that my default reaction when it actually does happen is to be amazed. I kept thinking that though, that it was just incredible, and I kept thanking the guy as I walked out, and thinking, and thanking... and thinking.
Do you want to take a wild, random guess as to what happened next? Do you? Go on, I dare you. Take a guess. Come on, guess! Guess! Never mind. As I was putting the bottle of water in my plastic bag, I saw a bottle of water in my plastic bag.