Chronic Lateness

So, yet again, she drops her baby off at the babysitters’ place at 5:00 am and proceeds to get ready for the day. She showers, dresses, puts on her make-up and struggles with her unmanageable hair for about 40 minutes. She intends to leave home at 6:00 am but the road to her hell is invariably paved with good intentions and she is always11 to 13 minutes late in starting her 10 mile drive to the Park & Ride. A drive that almost always takes her 19 minutes on the nightmarishly creeping parking lot of a highway also known as Route 80.

Every single day she arrives at the same ominous traffic light at the end of the exit ramp and it is always such a “delayed green” that it seems like an eternity before she can cross the intersection and get to the bus that awaits on the other side and could leave any minute while she waits for the light to turn. Here she sits, hunched over the steering wheel, screaming “Green, dammit, greeeeeeeeen!!!” This is a routine event in her life. It seems as though her stress levels soar as soon as she rolls off her bed. She restrains herself from committing the major moving violation of blowing right through the red traffic light each morning and even this restraint and this punishable, though impotent, impulse is now routine.

She is late to work, again. She gets in at 9:30 am; an hour and 30 minutes past when she intended to get in. Her bus passed a jack-knifed tractor-trailer and a minor fender-bender along the way. They shut down two east-bound lanes out of the four. The falling snow and the creeping salt trucks ahead of her 5 mph bus, stole several precious minutes out of the rapid downward spiral of her so-called life.

As every morning, once again, despite her best intentions, she couldn’t eat any breakfast at home, couldn’t make herself the PB & J sandwich that she kept promising to bring to work for lunch and had no time to spare for her daily multi-vitamin or her glucosamine chondroitin, for knee-joints that were now creaking and always angry in the cold weather.

She knew she shouldn’t skip breakfast, the most important meal of the day, but there wasn’t a thing she wanted to eat. She didn’t want an omelet, didn’t care for the ubiquitous bagels and cream cheese nor muffins. She only liked carbs in the morning but she couldn’t bring herself to eat because she was frustrated with the fact that she was stuck at this weight and was not able to shed the 10 additional pounds that would ensure a healthy BMI for her and make her look better. She couldn’t stand to look in the mirror these days, she couldn’t stand to be photographed. She hadn’t believed she could look good, in months now, and her hair…..always her hair! She never knew what to do with it. It was dry, it was curly, it was frizzy. It didn’t look good short or long and it took away too many of her precious morning hours. She felt like writing a book entitled, “The Old Lady and Her Hair”, she was the old lady. The old lady who was always rushed for time and always late no matter how hard she tried.

Yes, she felt old and decrepit at 36. Every twinge in her knee joint reminded her of impending geriatric troubles . Would she eventually be late for her appointment with death as well? She wondered.

© Pragya Thakur


  1. I have been touche'ed by this blog so many times before and I await the book about the hair eagerly.

  2. This is marvellous writing, Prags! Loved every bit of it!

  3. Tell me not in a mournful number life is such an eff0rt. Life is a festival celebrate it. Enjoy it to the fullest.I

  4. told the story of my life! (with variations, like a beautiful piece of music…)I am trying to update my own blog, started yesterday, with no luck yet, and came upon yours. (Mine is http://www.momresearrchers – I have to keep it quite serious, so I can refer other professionals to it.)I am a Gemini too – is that why the similarities? Well, a grandchild has come up to the computer room here for the second time, demanding my attention, and I have to do my wash…my husband and I are off to Edmonton this afternoon…I enjoyed hearing the story of your busy life – so unlike and yet so like my own!All the best,Jacalynnorth of Calgary, Canada ps- you are welcome to post this – I just couldn't figure out how!

  5. change your residence ;-)….lol love thy work great writer

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