Poppy's Ruby Morn
"Poppyyyyyyyyy!!! Traffic's bad. Get your butt up already."
Mom’s muffled voice ricochet in my head before I realize it’s NOT a dream. Shit! Why can't I get up like a rooster? Is God having fun with me? He already did it... by letting my ditzy mother give me a la-mo na-mo like "Poppy". Had she been high on heroin when naming me? I can be stuck in “Limbo”, “Lido”, mud, whatever. But I'll always be stuck as “Poppy”. These thoughts keep me company long enough to see me out our creaky front door., out on time thanks to two tricks. One: Laid out my cleanest clothes the night before. Two: Stashed a couple of crinkled bucks for breakfast at my local Dunkin's. Dough for donuts. Not healthy but efficient. Heading to my icy car on a cold morning, I am thinking — that thinking ahead has it's merits and it should not stop at two steps. Betrayed by the genes given me by "Ma Ditz", I realize sadly that preparedness seems to stop at the door. FINI! Done. Over.
Unlocking my car, dubbed "Ruby", I decide to try planning. She needs an oil change. Mental note to self: schedule a stick dip and some "slick" or she'll quit on me. Of course, Ruby’s a girl. Messy inside but hip and pretty sporting a gleaming red coat. She even has handles that get fondled before entry. “Poppppppy,” I think, “No more seductive thoughts.” Leave that to men. According to The Female Brain, by Dr. Brizedine, "85 percent of twenty- to thirty-year-old males think about sex every fifty-two seconds and women think about it once a day." With my one-a-day thought out of the way, I settle into my familiar routine. I can already see what surely must be the ONLY person who can NOT drive and MUST have waited just for ME and she's sneaking in front of my car without signaling??
What did my friend, Shelly-the-eternal-student, say? Oh yes. "Existentialism". I am guilty. Expecting nothing less than being first place in an occassionaly dangerous lane, I wend my way, in front of a twit who fades away in my rearview mirror. Who knows I am victorious? Me! Me and Ruby, Kierkegaard-style. Perfectly rude in my imperfect world, passing the usual spate of milestones and familiar billboards to "another day, another dollar", I try to recall the ride between Fulton and the Kennedy Expressway. I've traveled this route too many times. Now, only the bad driver is memorable.
Out of Dunkin’s drive-through, past a stoplight, a right turn, then a left. Quietly I wonder if a new routine or better planning might change things. I started the day with "Poppyyyyyyy! Traffic's bad!" Should've known where my day would take me. Ditzy, Dunkin's, Ruby, and the daily “stupid-ass-driver". A predictable morning routine, Ruby’s and mine. After parking my car and releasing the handle, I glance in the mirror to say, “Lookin' good, girls.” I plan. “Plan on keeping you. S’later, Rube.”