Thursday, April 05, 2007
New Beginning 251
Doug Petrie hated Thursdays.
Every Thursday introduced a problem. Usually it was minor: a flat tire, a power outage, maybe a reprimand from his boss. Occasionally it was major, like getting dumped by his girlfriend. Catastrophes, such as his scholarship revocation, were, thankfully, rare.
He trudged along the sidewalk, his briefcase in one hand and take-out dinner in the other. His dark hair stuck to the nape of his neck, the evening sun beating on him. He tried to ignore the sweat-soaked shirt clinging to his back and chest while trying to forget his day. He succeeded in doing neither.
Three miles ago his car broke down. It didn’t sputter out of gas. There was no chugging, no bucking, unlike the time it caught fire. It simply died, in the middle of an intersection. At rush hour.
While today was not a dismal, hide-and-wonder-why-the-universe-hated-him kind of day, it was firmly in the real problem category. He wiped the sweat from his face -- he thought he must smell like a rhinoceros in heat.
A big U-Haul truck rattled to a stop beside him, showering his loafers with grit. He dropped his take-out into the gutter. The driver shook his straggly blond hair out of his eyes and leaned over. “You need a ride?”
“No, I’m fine. Almost home. Bad day is all.”
“Bummer. TGIF, right?”
“Yeah, except it’s Thursday.”
The truck driver laughed. “No, man. It’s Friday. All day.” He waved and drove off.
Doug thought, Man, Fridays are really bad. He bent over to pick up his dinner. He never even heard the rhino coming up behind him.
Opening: Loose Screw.....Continuation: ril