Can You Read?

I’m either getting easier to flummox or just a lot slower with the witty, poignant reply. Maybe I’m just lame. Sure 1996’s, “You’re the dumbass!” wasn’t the quickest or most poignant retort, but I’ve had more than my share of doozies. I invented, “I’m not meeting new people now, thanks” and the understated, “Indianapolis.”

But, today – and this is happening more often – I was so slow. If I were a spy, I would have been assassinated. Had I been a gangster, I’d’ve been “taken out.” Completely unawares too. Just nothing. Poof!

I had this “paperwork” I needed to drop off at an office. Easy task this since I’d been there before so there wasn’t this whole need to have the pupils open wide. But the organization where I was leaving this envelope was still closed at 8:40 a.m. I thought they opened at 8:30 else I’d’ve come at another time.

I took the elevator up to the 2nd floor. Really, if there were stairs, I probably wouldn’t have used ‘em. Too much effort. Like, what, you actually think, take stairs, recycle, or smile in strange situations? What. Ever.

So, the situation is already a bit goofy. I’m thinking that I don’t really want to bring this paperwork back. Nor do I want to mail it. Who mails? I’m here already (next I’ll be writing checks). But, I didn’t know how long to wait.

Now, there were some “workers” or “movers” working (or moving) in the suite next door to the place I was going. I had no reason to interact with them though and didn’t believe it feasible that they would know the hours of the place I’m visiting. I let them do their work or moving or whatever uninterrupted. I’m cool like that. Plus I didn’t want to be the doofus standing there and those guys knowing that it was closed for the week or something.

A mail slot! I see a basket on the other side! Hurray! I’ll. Drop. This. Paperwork. In. This. Slot. And my job is done. I can go to the grocery store. I can leave this hell. I am pardoned from the prison. See, I’m already a move ahead with the grocery store in mind. I’m cool like that.

I drop. Envelope lands right in the basket. Middle. Swish. I turn. I walk to the elevator door. It’s open. There’s some cardboard shit all over the place. Some box scribbling. The movers must be using this elevator. Whatever. It’ll come back.

I entered the elevator and one of the movers/workers says something. “Pardon me?” I say. He repeats, slowly and loudly like he’s talking to a slow, foreign child, “Can you read?” He probably could have signed this if I were a deaf, slow, foreign child.

Flummoxed! But, here’s my chance to totally burn this dude with a rad response. I’ll put him out with my witty retort. I can epically scorch this guy, this low life, this commoner; this fool who would dare cross my path. Here goes: “Can I read? That’s just…really…insulting!” See? I told him.

Well, I really didn’t get into the dynamics of information dense overload, selected information processing, or the focus mechanics of someone with a 150 IQ. “Can I read? What are you talking about?!” I’m going nowhere at this point. All I can do is look angry, perhaps disappointed.

He says something, blah blah, about what’s written in bold marker on the cardboard. “Sorry, that’s why we wrote that there” he says with a slight smile. “Can I read? That’s just insulting!” I say this for the third time as I slinked down the other elevator – the one without the shit written in marker on cardboard.

I was wicked pissed too. Probably mostly pissed at myself even though I were wishing for gang>mob>cop connections to posse up with me and go teach Jeb how to read, indeed. But, it was my own damn fault. I was off my game. Out of focus. I very well should have noticed the largely, boldly written note + smiley-face plea to leave the moving guys’ elevator put. I should totally have noticed that. My bad! By huge bad.

But, I was pissed. I kept repeating, “Can I read?” over and over for about an hour. I was mad at somebody else because I slipped. Not at all situation aware or conscious.

Maybe I can’t read.