Broken Record 

For those like me who remember a time when vinyl was the only option, there will also be another memory. It is of the horror when your precious LP got scratched and you could only watch in dread as the needle moved through the groove, then locked into the scratch and careered off down its detour, stuck in the damage of the mistake and never again able to bring forth the intended result.

That was my day today.

After a shocking night of not very much sleep (my fault, I got soppy and allowed Archie up near me for a cuddle, not realising he would then settle down for the night). I lay overheating and pinned between two dogs, and trying not to think about the the 5.30 am start that made getting a good night’s sleep so important. I failed.

I had my cup of tea in bed and all was going to plan – I had my morning pages written by 6 am – and then something happened, I am not sure what, and time kind of double-backed on itself and all of a sudden instead of being ahead, I was fifteen minutes behind. I basically dumped the dogs at home, slammed down two bowls of food while yelling, ‘BREAKFAST’, scattered around some treats, closed the patio door and fled to try and get to where I should have been twenty minutes before I got in to my car.

And when this happens, of course I get anxious, and then what happens as I drive along the road, is that I start to ask myself whether I did actually close the patio door. I thought I remembered the sound of it closing, but was that just when I looked at it and thought, ‘I really must remember to close that before I leave?’

The feeling gnawed at me as I did what I had to do in town. By now it was 9.15 am and I had a tiny window before my next appointment on the other side of town, so I did what I had to do and went in the opposite direction, back home to check the door was indeed shut.

The dogs were delighted, ecstatic – of course they were – Mummy was home! Mummy felt bad about that but there was no way to check the door without going into the house so they were always going to find out. It was the price my dogs had to pay for my peace of mind that they were not being murdered by people committing a robbery.  I had to go through the ritual of saying hello and then saying goodbye (because obviously the door was shut and there were no burglars to fight off) and then watch the confused face of Lucy as she watched my car disappear up the driveway again in a cloud of blue exhaust.

Getting home was almost as bad. I had dropped through to my parents’ place to get a final signature on some paperwork for them and then post it. I jumped into the car and headed up one of the main roads that leads to the freeway home before realising half way up, that it was a car park. Insane. As police have recently taken to weaving in plain clothes on motorbikes through queues of traffic and fining people $450 for touching their phones, I could not check the traffic online. So I sat there for a while and then made a rash decision and peeled off the road (which is one way) down a side street so I could double back again.

The side street was impressively busy with cars coming out of it and the reason became clear as I followed the other escapees around the corner and down a street which led to … a car park. There was a railway to the right a football oval to the left and a dead end in front.

Slowly, sheepishly we turned around and headed back to join the very queue of cars I had noticed on the way in – all of whom had clearly made the same mistake. At least getting out of the street was not as hard as it could have been. Despite the traffic being heavy, every now and then a lemming would break off and lead others on a race down the side street I was now queuing to get out of and which ten minutes ago I too had raced down.

It is hard to escape the idea that I have been stuck in a series of dead end loops all day, but I am home now and although Lucy has still not quite forgiven me for the false alarm I created this morning, the Monday jobs of hoovering and bin night are done and I am back on track for lovely lie in until 6am tomorrow when the whole damn thing will start again.

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