I woke up with a horrible headache. It was the kind of headache I imagine you would have if you woke up in a Vegas hotel wearing only rainbow striped socks and a live chinchilla as a stole. For the record, I woke up fully clothed and secure in the knowledge that I hadn’t had a drop to drink the night before but that was little consolation as I crawled out of bed, keeping one eye closed as if seeing only half the world would make half as painful.
I dragged myself into the kitchen and considered making coffee but remembered that I had run out of half and half on Monday and that’s when I figured out the source of my pain.
I hadn’t had coffee since Monday.
With one eye closed and my head held perfectly still so that my brain didn’t feel as if it might slide out of my ear, I got Zeca up, sent her to her guitar lesson, showered, made Zeca breakfast and then headed out to run errands.
I needed to go to Barnes and Noble to get comic books to send to Miguel at camp so I figured I would grab a latte from Starbucks then grab the comic books and then stop at the store for half and half.
I got into the car, put on my sunglasses and opened both eyes and drove.
My mind wandered as I headed down Hiawatha and towards the river. I thought about our upcoming wedding and I thought about who I would invite and I thought about the fact that some of the people who witnessed our vows in 2000 would not be there this time around. I contemplated how the years change us and our relationships. I imagined exchanging vows with Luisa and got a little teary. I was full of emotion so, when I stopped at 46th and Hiawatha, I felt compelled to give the homeless man standing there the last of my cash.
I continued pondering friendship and love and promises and change as I crossed over the river and into St. Paul. There is a speed limit sign on the bridge and noticed that it said 30 MPH and also noticed I was going 46 so I immediately slowed down. As I came off the bridge, however, I saw a police officer jump on his motorcycle and I knew he was coming for me.
I immediately pulled over and removed my sunglasses and tried to keep both eyes open when he approached the car. He looked like he was about 12. I was definitely old enough to be his mother, so, shameless flirting was out of the question. I went for apologetic charm.
Officer: Good morning, m’am. Do you know that you were speeding?
Me: Yes, I noticed the posted speed limit and how fast I was going and immediately slowed down.
Officer: Do you know how fast you were going?
Me: Yes, I was going 46.
Officer: Um, well, I clocked you going 40.
That’s me – honest to a fault.
He took my driver’s license and insurance information and went back to his motorcycle to do his secret police things and I will admit I was mad at myself and a little anxious and then I remembered something – I am a grown up! It’s not like my mom was going to get mad at me. So, I relaxed and closed one eye and hoped he would hurry so I could get my latte.
He came back to my car and handed me my citation and told me how to pay my fine or go to court or ask for a continuance or something but I wasn’t listening because ONE EYE CLOSED NEED LATTE. I thanked him and wished him a good day and took my leave.
Once I made it to Barnes and Noble, I looked at my ticket and noticed the officer’s name – Officer Dick. Figures.
I went inside and bought the comic books and then went to Starbucks to get a latte and try out my new Starbucks alter ego, “Josie”.
Barista: What’s your name?
Vikki (nervously): Josie.
Oh god. She knows!
Vikki: Um, no. Josie.
She rang up my order and I realized that I needed to pay with a credit card because I gave the last of my cash to the homeless man! My credit card says my name is “Vikki” not “Josie” so I began to panic. My crime spree and web of lies was getting out of hand! Then, I remembered that I had a gift code on my phone and I was able to use that. “Josie” got her latte and “Vikki” headed to the grocery store for half and half.
At the grocery store, I bought a baguette, sushi for Zeca, two boxes of DOTS, orange Tic Tacs, two packs of Trident bubble gum and went on my way.
I drove towards the bridge and noticed that Officer Dick had pulled over another unsuspecting soul and proceeded at exactly 30 miles per hour onto the bridge, across the river and to the safety of Minneapolis. When I got home and put away the groceries, I realized that I had forgotten to get the half and half.
On the upside, the headache is gone. Amazing what a $121 latte can do.