I lost my planner.
It's not at home. It's not at work. So far as I can tell, I left it somewhere in the stacks Thursday evening, after searching out the 1914 issue of Blast (vorticism was cool, man) and photocopying an article. This means it's lost. I am not about to search all 12 levels of the stacks for a single book-sized object. It probably got tossed out as it is.
I feel lost and twitchy without my omnipresent planner. I take it everywhere. It had all mes devoirs for the weekend clearly outlined in it. All my exams, quizzes and papers for the semester. My appointments, weekly and otherwise. Pertinent office hours. Special phone numbers. The weight room schedule.
It was always very reassuring to see my daily schedule and my duties laid down in print. The past two days have felt very haphazard.
So today I went on a replacement mission. I had to go to the Strand to pick up a book I had ordered anyway.
I decided to take the M5 bus all the way down, to "see the sights." Normally, this is the best bus route in Manhattan. It starts out way north in Washington Heights, then goes along Riverside Drive, past the park and all the old houses. It then swings over to Fifth Avenue, and continues down 5th, through that shopping district, all the way to the Village, where it ends at West Houston (conveniently within walking distance of a few good women's nightspots, and one of my favorite restaurants).
All was fine until we got to about 57th and 5th. The big anti-war protest rally was given space at 49th and 1st, some 4 avenues over and eight blocks down, but it was so large that all the downtown traffic was diverted to 5th Avenue. And I do mean all the downtown traffic. There were police cars everywhere. And protestors, yelling at cops. Which angered me.
You have the privilege to protest. But they are duty-bound to protect you, and for the most part, they do a damn good job of it. Either respect cops, or take over their responsibilities and see how good of a job YOU do. 100,000 protestors in a city worried about more terrorism is a logistical nightmare. Be fucking considerate, okay?
In any case, the bus moved along at about an inch a minute. It was horrible. By the time I got off, at East 12th, I had to pee so badly I thought I'd burst, or lose it, or something.
Going to this particular bookstore is never a pleasant experience. It may be cheap, but it's so crowded and so disorganized that if you go looking for something specific you'll never find it. The people are harried. The space is full of stressed energies. Not good for browsing.
Fortunately for sociopaths like myself, the store has its entire database online. You can go to strandbooks.com, search for what you want, and then pick it up at the store. And it doesn't cost anything extra. Perfect.
The Strand was packed. There was a line of about twenty waiting for cashiers, so I joined the line, and when I finally got up to the counter, told them I was there to pick up a web order. Unfortunately, it wasn't directly behind the counter.
"We'll call up and have them bring it down for you. Just wait over there."
I proceed to spend twenty-five minutes standing in front of the cookbooks section, looking increasingly impatient.
Then a different cashier says, "Have you been helped?"
Why no, I haven't! "I'm still waiting for a web order." I give him my last name.
"Oh. This came down ten minutes ago." Damnit. I collect my new book and leave, slightly disgruntled. I still need to pee.
I run to the Barnes and Noble at Union Square, about four blocks north. It used to be a long-standing joke: I know every Barnes and Noble in the city because I always need a bathroom. I do have a small bladder. And I don't know of another chain in the city that maintains public restrooms. I think I've seen the inside of the women's restroom at every Barnes and Noble in Manhattan.
After finally peeing, I look all over the four stories of the store for a damn planner. Nothing doing. There are protestors everywhere. I'm a progressive, but you know, activists are so busy marching and chanting that they tend to forget to wash... and that is so not my style.
Four story store, and they don't have any damn calendars or planners? What the hell?
I decide to come back uptown on the subway. The train schedule has been disrupted because of the protests and the need for heightened security. Great. Just great. It takes me 75 minutes to get home.
It was truly a "Linds in the city" sort of day. The kind that makes me stop off for soda at the drugstore -- which also failed to have any planners -- and end the day with a fun novel, because I'm so worn out after making my own quasi-military maneuvers.
I look forward to reading my new book. But another day with no organizer?
Not only does the loss of my planner make me feel crazy, I have the need to chronicle the loss. What does that say about me?