Today is Tuesday — actually, it’s 12:27am as I type this initial draft of a post. So while it is now officially Wednesday here in southern California, it’s still Tuesday night in Hawaii.
Wednesday evening in Korea.
I don’t get time.
I don’t know whether I should have capitalized the “Are” in the title of this post. Should it read “Tuesdays are the Worst” instead? That looks wrong. Too many non-capitalized valley-words stretched feebly between two mountain peak-words. Like a mutant camel in reverse.
A sunken inverted mutant camel trapped amid a valley between mountains.
Anyway. Tuesdays are the worst.
Tuesdays start at 8:30. I awake and douse my head under the sink. Smother my hair with a towel. I pee, flush. Look in the mirror.
My hair is getting long. But I refuse to pay for a haircut, because I’m still climbing out of a debt-vortex where my perpetual payments make no difference.
I’m also growing a beard because I’m pretty sure I’ve hit a quarter-life crisis. Or does that go the other way around?
Either way, I look wretched.
I eat a better breakfast than I’ve been consuming these last 5 months since camp ended. Especially on Tuesdays.
(Because they’re the worst.)
I spend some time with the Lord. Not my “homeboy” or even my “friend” — He plays that role enough with the rest of my time. For these 10-15 measly minutes, He is Lord. A God beyond comprehension who could stop my heart or command the earth to swallow me whole if He so chose.
For this given Tuesday morning, He chose not to do either.
At 9:30 on this Tuesday morning which is the beginning of the worst day of the week, I drive to school. Thankfully, not a school I myself “attend,” but instead a school where I am blessed to tutor. A beautiful school where I recently returned after 8 months removed.
I spend the next 4 hours here. Enduring kids who ignore my tutoring sessions and write flippant reflections at session’s end.
Kids I truly adore.
At 2:00 on this only-just-getting-started Tuesday I drive across the city and tutor at a brother and sister’s house. Well, technically, it’s their parents’ house.
Today their boxer nearly bit off my hand.
For the next 2 hours on this awful Tuesday, I tutor first the brother and then his sister in their (parents’) garage — surrounded by cages inhabited by a guinea pig, a rabbit, two lizards, and the boxer who nearly bit off my hand.
Their garage is a comparable zoo.
At 5:00 I say goodbye to these two sweet siblings and their eclectic pet garage, and I drive back across the city to tutor for 2 more hours at my learning center.
A fourth-grader who resembles a wee Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings his iPad.
Why didn’t I have an iPad in fourth grade?
During break time, Mini-JGL plays “Gangnam Style” over and over on that bloody little tablet. And yet Li’l JGL is the most focused, driven fourth-grader I’ve ever seen. Can mentally multiply 250 and 12 within seconds. I nod my head and say “good job” while slyly solving the problem on paper thirty seconds later.
I say goodbye to the kids and teachers and drive next door for a bite to eat. Subway. It’s 7:30; dinner comes early tonight. I have a headache and I have to pee. I haven’t peed since dousing my head in the sink.
Do I want it toasted?
Who ever says no to that?
I eat my sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub in the car. Sit at the light leading to the I-91 and see the same blonde homeless woman I’ve been passing for the last 3 months. I’m eating a foot-long sub in my car, heat blasting, while she stands in the cold with a cardboard sign.
I can’t possibly roll down the window. Not tonight. Not like this.
What is wrong with me?
Someday I will actually roll down the window and get her name and slip her a 20. I will, dammit.
It’s 8:00, and I drive to yet another Tuesday tutoring session to help a tenth-grader study/cram for his geometry final tomorrow. Today. Wednesday. Whatever.
He’s one of the nicest kids I’ve ever tutored. His parents, beyond hospitable.
At 9:30, I am beyond worn from four separate-consecutive tutoring stops that quite literally stretch back 12 hours on this Tuesday that never ends.
I bask in my coffee shop glory until 2am despite the worst day of the week that completely sucks me dry. Because this is how I recuperate: not with sleep and a bed, but a coffee mug and a laptop.
I write this post; I feel full again.
Tuesdays are the worst; Tuesdays are very long days. And yet at the end of the eternal day — when nighttime grants me clear freeways home — I consider myself grateful.
Grateful for the opportunity to cross paths with so many vastly different yet altogether similar, supernaturally sculpted beings. Young and old. Human and canine and reptile.
Next week, I’ll do it again.
Though hopefully with a twist that involves a certain blonde homeless woman at the corner of Harbor and the I-91.
And preferably no surprise boxer attacks.