This morning I decided to stop into my local microbrew java joint to caffeinate and ruminate... sketch out the to-do list for this morning's work, and brainstorm a little about today's blog topic. There are enough writable experiences in every day to create several blog entries; sometimes it's necessary to sit down and figure out which one will be funniest, most interesting, most universal.
High on the list was whining about my beginning of semester cold, and yesterday's coffee shop experience. The Coffee Dudes there said they had voted me "their favorite housewife"--i.e., chick with kids who spends half of her weekly income on coffee. I was going to write about identity crisis... I see myself as Musician/Writer. My students see me as Professor. The Coffee Dudes see me as Housewife. I love it. Gimme my apron, NOW.
One of the Dudes wasn't there today. That's normal. He runs the joint; he's got stuff to do. He's not always in. Didn't think much of it. Ordered my coffee, sat down and started journalizing. But then Coffee Dude 2 woke me out of my trance. "Um, Sue...," he said, tentatively. I looked up, wondering, "Why the long face?"
He didn't know how to start. I thought he was going to ask us about maybe playing in there some Sunday. But no, that wasn't it. It turns out that last night, the Grand Pooba Coffee Dude, the shop owner, had gotten into a head-on collision at highway speed, with his wife (good friend of mine) and 3-yr-old son (Mini Me's best buddy) in the car. A (#$*$ drunk driver had crossed over into their lane, and drove straight into them.
Suddenly, nothing is funny anymore.
They're okay. If you consider some a night in the hospital, broken bones, stitches, a totaled car, and childhood trauma as okay. It's not okay. Neither is drunk driving.
Identity, practice, whatever. Sometimes the hand of the universe reaches down to shake our shoulder and wake us up. If we may revisit my initial blog entry on this 100 days, when I wondered what I might be at the end of 100 days—"Buddhette, Beer Drinker, or Butt-kicker"—I think it's fair to say that I've now crossed Option #2 off the list. And if I run into that drunk driver, I'd be happy to assume the role of Option #3.