This is a long ass story.
I’m so glad I’m taking my time with this tea. The little complexities and the layers of earth and sweetness makes this so enjoyable. I start off with a cocoa covered wisp of autumn leaves in the middle of winter, on a day that looks like the beginning of spring. Then the shift comes into the cocoa and then the honey all the while walking on a sunny day. I of course brewed this up in my 16 oz tumbler: today was a tumbling day of incidents beginning with a singular incident yesterday, after all.
The wind sneaks over at a chilly 27 F yesterday morning at 8: 05 AM. I slowly inch my car into a parking spot, and as soon as I tap the breaks and shift my gears- POP!- goes something in front of my hood. A bubbly mist rises there billowing through the cracks like dried ice. I lift the hood, and the mist is coming from a radiator hose bleeding out coolant all around the engine and all over the pavement.
“Fucking hell…” I grumble to myself. I pace back and forth like the business-casually dressed fop I am, re-center, then head into the middle school to start volunteering. I immediately let the wise Mr. Hopper know what the hell happened with absent surprise of it actually happening, and he starts to text his best mechanic, a past student who used to give him a little bit of trouble. I call my insurance, have it towed over to the shop, and proceeded to interacting with my kids.
Incident smiled then because another day prior to that prior day, a friend of mine wanted to stop by the classroom to see how the classroom dynamic was different from the school he volunteers at, the same school I tutor at and get paid for. People always get confused with this bit: I VOLUNTEER for Mr. Hopper, I WORK at the other school. Because I invited my classmate that I see at work prior, he was able to interact with the kids as well and get my tuckus back to campus.
From there on out, I played every step by pre-planned ear. I went to my classes, talked about pre-revolutionary American fashion oh-so-pretentiously, and proceeded to try to kick butt on an Exam about Chinese geography and history. I call up the shop and have them look at it intermittently throughout the day. I anxiously wait, gong fu some Li Shan from What-Cha, western some more Li Shan, and gong fu some Shang Tangerine Blossom. I head anxiously to my next class with my phone on full volume.
My professors of course know what the hell is going on too. I present a proposal for a Civics lesson plan on the U.S. Judicial Branch with the same classmate that I invited and got a ride from, and they let me talk on the phone during moments of class with well timed precision. Of course one professor is at a meeting two rooms away while the other teaches. The one at the meeting was the most concerned.
I get news as soon as I finished my lesson. The hose is replaced, but my car has more overheating problems. Again. And more problems with its bearings. So I let the shop keep my car overnight to do diagnostics the next morning.
The next morning is today’s morning. I wake up at 7, go back to sleep at 7:30, wake up at 8:30, go back to sleep, then my mom wakes me up at 9:45. She’s been informed and freaked out every step of the way. We make three plans on how I’m going to switch cars. I proceed to slowly wake myself up by drinking more Li Shan and Tangerine Blossom Gong Fu. I’m walking to get some lunch (i.e. breakfast), I’m about to call the shop, and I get the call from the student that has been looking at my car. He confirms the inevitable.
So I take the bus to get to the Middle School I volunteer at. I walk another two and a half miles to the shop. I pick up the car and meet the ex student mechanic in person. He is a twenty something like me and is incredibly nice. We talk about Mr. Hopper, how awesome he is, he tells me about the past that I just informed you, the reader about, and he proceeds to top me off with some coolant. I put my keys in the ignition, exhale, and drive down to my campus parking lot.
I call my mother. We start the paperwork for transferring the permit. I load up my tumbler with the Darjeeling and the rest of my teas with my lap top and toiletries as if I was going home. I take the first sip of the Darjeeling, and the cocoa covered wisp of autumn leaves meets my lips.
I walk over to the parking office and begin the parking process in person. My mom initiates the process of donating the car. I walk to my designated coffee and gelato shop, Iorio’s just south of the office. I sit there, start to write up make up papers for work hours.
The final two incidents are the facts that I did not have “work” today, and the fact that I was planning on going to the DIA Museum with three friends of mine for a night out in Detroit. Of course, one of them has work, and of course, I give them another excuse not to go – never mind all four of us planned the night for over a week. So instead, I’m writing here, at the same place where this friend works – sipping my refill of this same Darjeeling in a coffee mug.
If only life had the same sweet aftertaste.