She has this, shall she call it, QUIRK? She knows she has it. She is getting much better at recognizing when it clicks into place.
It’s called THE ZONE. When she has a work-related (usually) appointment, audition, meeting, whatever, she gets in THE ZONE. It’s a place in her mind where she wants to live for a while, leading up to the moment/event. If anyone tries to enter the zone, she bites.
She knew it was starting when Jason asked her how she liked the new vegetable peeler he bought.
“I hate it. It’s like peeling a carrot with a sand dollar.” She knew the second it left her mouth something had changed, “I appreciate you buying it for me, but I really do hate it, I’m getting a new one. I’m sorry, I’m just in the zone.”
The day before he had emailed her to see if she could drop the kids off at school in the morning. Her first thought: My important meeting day! Her second thought: The meeting isn’t til 2, I can do this. Her third thought: It’s ok, he does so much for you, you can do this little thing for him.
The morning came and she did get up and get through practicing the violin and flute and making some breakfast and getting dressed. The girls bickered and she did a little screaming and scolding. Finally they were out the door in the wind and rain and inside-out umbrellas, half a block away she realized she had forgotten the flute.
Back home and then back out. On the train, Lolly, pointing to a man standing up with his eyes closed and whispering in her ear: “See that man?”
She replied: “Yeah, isn’t that funny that he can stand and take a nap at the same time?”
Lolly: “No, that’s not why I’m pointing to him, that’s Dad’s friend.”
She replied: “No, honey it isn’t.”
He caught on that they were talking about him and explained that for several years he had been commuting with the girls and her husband and he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to seem stalkerish. That brought a smile to her face, imagining her husband making weekly conversation with a man on the subway. As they walked from the train to school, her stress from the morning dissolved and she apologized to the girls and kissed them goodbye.
When she returned to the station, the train was arriving when she swiped thru the turnstile, barely making it. She sat down and took the FLUTE CASE off her shoulder to place on the floor!
“No! Seriously? Why do I still have you?” The train crowd stared at her, and she then said: “Sorry, a little inner dialogue just found it’s way out. My bad.” She tried to run out the door but the doors closed, so it was off to the next stop to transfer and then return the flute to school!
Thankfully she did return because there was a school assembly, and she got to return the flute to Lolly AND see Phoebe’s class perform a movement from a Beethoven symphony using only solfege syllables. She suddenly became aware of her totally mismatched outfit and uncombed hair, but after apologizing to her friends who assured her she really did match, she tried to breathe and will the rest of her day to be flub-free.