luck, elevens, and commuting

Today is 11.11.11, which is so many (okay, three) elevens in a row that it has to be special somehow, yeah? Eleven is, without question, the coolest number, because it’s, you know, eleven (prime, cool to say, consists of parallel lines, ELEVEN), so today, obviously, with all those elevens involved, was bound to be the coolest day of all time. Right? Totally. Or something. But it turned out that I woke up not feeling terribly great, and then I had to go to work, where all the tasks I had saved for myself were the REALLY BORING ones which meant that I wasn’t very motivated or, to be honest, even slightly interested, and then I drove home in the dark and here I am and that’s it. Though I deliberately tend not to plan things for Friday evenings because by the time I get out of work on Fridays I am usually in desperate need of quality do-nothing time. And this week was especially delightful, what with the full moon and everything. You try working in mental health when there’s a full moon. It makes everything exponentially more stupid. And it’s often pretty stupid anyway, just by virtue of what it is, but when there’s a full moon, GOOD LORD.

So, it’s a day of elevens, and yes, I’m one of those people who makes a wish at 11:11, if I happen to notice it’s 11:11. Today, I happened to look at the clock when it was 11:12, so alas. I realize there’s another 11:11 coming up in a few hours, but if I know myself, and I do, I will be asleep then, while pretending that I’m watching the intelligent and insightful television programs I recorded earlier this week. It’s a bit of a habit. I have a hard time staying up in the double digits on weeknights. I’m 74.

Wishes. Right. I never wish for anything particularly important at 11:11, because I don’t believe in leaving important things to chance, but sometimes I will wish for an extraordinarily good sandwich for lunch or something like that. Not that it isn’t important to keep one’s hopes up about lunch, because it is. I don’t know about you, but I believe there are rules about making wishes at 11:11, namely that you have to start when you notice it’s 11:11, and if you’re not done by 11:12, then that renders the whole thing void. Also, I think it’s cheating if you notice it’s 11:10 and you wait for it to be 11:11. I think you have to catch it by chance or it doesn’t count.

I’m just saying.

Earlier today, I was thinking about commuting. What this has to do with anything I’ve already written in this post, I don’t know. But it’s my post, so if it’s really two disjointed posts slapped together for no real reason other than I slapped them together, then so be it. I guess this counts as the segue.

I drive a lot these days. I drive usually somewhere in the 250-300 miles/week range, which means that I spend a lot of time in my car. I’m in my car on the road at just about the same times every day. Sometimes I see the same people when I’m driving, but it’s a funny thing, because people aren’t people so much when you’re all together on the interstate. Instead, everybody is what they’re driving. When I consider this, it makes me a bit sad that I don’t drive anything more interesting than the compact tan Ford that I inherited from my grandmother, because really — tan? I think I have so much more personality than tan would suggest. I suppose I could spice things up by putting stickers on the car or getting some fuzzy dice or something, but I’d rather not, so maybe tan fits after all. I don’t really like bumper stickers, and I think if you’re going to stick one on your car, then you should really believe it, which is why I’m always puzzled when I pass the guy — it has to be the same guy — near this one exit not too far away from my own who has a bumper sticker that says “Remember: pillage first, then burn.” While that is indeed a solid bit of advice, um… why?

Maybe I’m making a snap judgment here, but that’s what I do, so I don’t think I could date someone who thought he’d put a sticker on his car and then decided on that one. I don’t think that guy is my type.

My commute is terribly dull. There are things that spice it up, like being stuck behind an accident or being stuck in construction or being diverted because somebody’s car caught on fire (that happened this week… I think it was Tuesday) or being in a blizzard. But for the most part, I get in the car and drive until I’m at my office. I have made this trip so many times over the past couple of years that I don’t think much while I’m driving. Or that’s not true. I think a lot while I’m driving, but I don’t think much about where I’m going or how much time it takes to get there because I have all of that memorized. Instead I think about what I need to get done or if I have any meetings or if I shouldn’t have worn more comfortable shoes. I think about the songs I’m listening to, and I think about my friends and I think “I should plan a drink night even though we just had a drink night.” I think about the text messages that pop up on my phone that I don’t answer right away because hello, I’m driving, and there was that one morning where I thought about the dream I had where I was trapped in an elevator with Idris Elba, and that was a good dream, as far as dreams go. Dreams of Idris Elba aside, my thoughts are generally pretty tan. At least they match the car.

This evening, I was driving home in the dark, thinking about all those elevens, thinking about luck. It was a fairly normal day, all things considered, and nothing too weird happened, though there was that bit where this girl broke the sliding doors because I think she forgot they were sliding doors. Maybe the luck is in the normalcy, especially considering the days that came before (this week was really out of control). Maybe luck isn’t on the table. Maybe it’s just a day. But I saw an airplane flying overhead as I drove and I made a wish on it. I know it wasn’t 11:11, I know it wasn’t a shooting star, but sometimes you just have to make do with what you’ve got.

6 thoughts on “luck, elevens, and commuting

  1. You intentionally picked “74” because 7 + 4 = 11, right?

    For some reason, CBC Toronto decided it would be a good idea to talk to a numerologist this morning (because of all the 11s), and all I learned about numerology is that you keep adding up the individual digits in a number and then stop when you get the number you’re aiming for. (It never seemed to occur to him that 1 + 1 = 2, so 74 = 11 = 2. Instead everything worked out to 11, and 11 is great, so this was a good day.)

    Tomorrow I will purge my brain with actual information.

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  2. The good thing about spending a lot of time in the car is…hold on, I’ll think of something…well, there’s…hmmmm…oh yes, all that time is good for…meh…i know! Music! You can listen to tons of music. Of course if you’re driving during the morning commute and you’re relying on the radio finding decent music is like finding a cat as the keynote speaker at a fish convention.

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    1. I used to listen to a fairly decent station during my commute, but then last winter, while cleaning snow off of the top of my car, the car’s antenna snapped off. So, no more radio for me. I still have the antenna (it’s in the backseat of the car for safekeeping) and I keep meaning to see if I can get it fixed or replaced, but it’s not that high on my list of priorities. So now I just listen to my music collection via my phone.

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  3. I tried to remember what I used to think about when I commuted…then realized I’ve never really commuted. Not in the five-days-a-week-to-the-same-place-at-the-same-time sense. I’ve had jobs where I had to be at the same place three or four or even five days a week…but never at the same time, and not always on the same days.

    So part of me is saying “Grego, you’ve done missed out on a quintessential American experience.” And part of me is saying, “Grego, you’re one lucky motherfucker.” And part of me is wondering why I’m talking to myself like I’m Samual L. Jackson.

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    1. Commuting is weird, in that it turns into a vacant, autopilot sort of thing after awhile. It’s mostly dull, but necessary, at least until I can teleport. The only time I actively hate it is during bad winter weather, otherwise I don’t care much.

      Don’t you always talk to yourself like you’re Samuel L. Jackson?

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