Of course, I knew all the people at the party. And many of them snubbed me. I suppose out of loyalty to Susan. But Tim W___ with whom the lines of connection descend not only through the R_______ dynasty but also through my mother—they were in a band together—stopped to talk with me in an amiable, impersonal way. I felt very much the outsider. Cue Chris Isaak: Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing.
This is the subclinical panic attack singing.
The day got off to a bad start when I lost another one of my favorite earrings! First world problem, I know, I know, but really, I need to invest in some earring backs that lock.
The frustrating thing is that the earring had to have fallen off somewhere between my car and the Tax Bwana class. During every break, I went off searching for it; the other Tax Bwanas must have thought I was quite mad. I searched the car, too, and managed to unearth a huge quantity of objects that I assumed had vanished into a dimension of sight, a dimension of sound, a dimension of mind (cue Rod Serling), including a bracelet I can’t ever remember owning—had it been Nadia’s? She’s the person I bought the car from.
But no earring.
Later that night Clark, Nadia’s bf, contacted me out of the blue. Hakuna Matata, he told me. Which felt like absolution.
When I got home, the reason for the subclinical panic attack evinced itself in the form of an official envelope containing Bad News—
I must have started feeling this way at the exact moment the envelope was mailed! I thought. But this evidence of my amazing mental telepathy did not soothe.
I did the responsible adult thing. I called someone in a position to help me.
This is spiritual progress.
After the Little Store imploded, I didn’t do the responsible adult thing, which would have involved filing for bankruptcy.
I couldn’t face filing myself. I couldn’t have handled it emotionally. My hands didn’t just shake; they actually began to flutter every time I thought about it. It was hard to keep myself from sobbing.
And I didn’t have the money to hire a lawyer.
But there’s no denying that filing for bankruptcy would have saved me an enormous amount of pain.
This time I thought, Yup! It costs money. Yup! You were a flake. No, being a flake is not a capital offense. You just deal with the cleanup process.
The only thing you can do about the past is learn from it, right?
I’m thinking my life would be immeasurably improved if I got my hands on a copy of The Quest for Queen Mary by James Pope-Hennessy. But $13 for a Kindle edition? Too much!
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